ANNUAL MAGAZINE, 2010
m Anwesha Dutta, Social Work, 2nd Year m Lalhmangaih Hauzel, MHA (Hospital), 1st Year m Atul Jaiswal, Disability Studies and Action, 1st Year m Bhavneet Kaur, Social Work, 1st Year m Vinaya Padmanabhan, DS, 1st Year m Souvik Majumdar, HRM & LR, 1st Year
© Literary Society, TISS, Mumbai. 2010 DISCLAIMER: The articles published here are regarded to be the work of the author’s, if otherwise stated. Any infrigement of copyright or distribution laws of another person’s work is the sole responsibility of the writer/author and not that of the Literary Society or Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
Overall Design & Layout (including Cover): Lalhmangaih Hauzel, MHA (HO)
tiss ANNUAL MAGAZINE
MESSAGES Director, TISS
THE RIOT-CONTROL VEHICLE
TO THE RESERVOIR
THE BUTTERFLIES OF OUR TIMES
THE INVISIBLE MEN AND WOMEN
THE BOY WHO SOLD THE BOTTLE OF PICKLE
Dean, Student’s Affairs THE WALL
06 07 09
THE QUIRKY PEOPLE IN MY LIFE
HONEY AND MORE
STRAIGHT FROM THE SOUL
IDEOLOGY AND AMBEDKAR
MY GREATEST POSSESSION
SLEEP MA SLEEP
RANDOM OBSERVATION AND REFLECTIONS ON TRANSPORT SERVICE DELIVERY
THE GENESIS OF POLITICAL MOVEMENT IN TRIPURA
THE MONLIT PARADE
A COMMUNE WITH DIGNITY
THE MANGO TREE
I WAS BORN IN THE JUNGLE
OPINIONS/FEEDBACKS ON STUDENT’S UNION ELECTION
INTERDISCIPLINARY ACTION FOR BETTER IMPLEMENTATION
U n m a a d ‘ 10
Before we begin, the pertinent question is, why a new magazine? The answer is simple. We have a brand new and fresh (Love the smell of new paper!) magazine because if the old one has lost its potency to represent our view, ideals and madness. It has been a true friend for a year now and now it’s time to bid goodbye. Given how opinionated we all are and the range of topics that capture our imaginations, we need a mouthpiece to voice some of those remarks, brickbats, and concerns of national, environmental and individual interests that flitter around campus every passing moment waiting to find its way into print. The fact that we the members of the (often ignored) literary society ramble on is easily exhibited here, since we still haven’t yet answered the primary question: why a new magazine with an old name? Well that’s because we consider the name Unmaad to be very sophisticated and cultured and reminiscent of our time spent here in TISS. T.S. Eliot once said “Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity.” We the denizens of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences do not really disagree with Mr. Thomas Stearns Eliot but quietly associate our creativity with something a little less subtle than anxiety. Our creativity draws it driving force out of our madness. Let’s face it; we truly are a crazy lot. Obviously in our case we choose to shine on as the crazy diamonds of the past. Unmaad 2010 is a tribute to all the madness and all the craziness that we TISSians brew into our lives. Unmaad is about happiness – more passionate than anger, more life changing than serenity, more potent than courage, more wonder than magic. The fact finding mission that we embarked on in the introductory paragraph is essentially a representation of the underlying motif of this year’s magazine. Unmaad 2010 is a tribute to randomness. It is a celebration of every random idea or thought that ever crossed your mind. It is a tribute to every arbit doodle and every meaningless sketch that you ever drew in class. It is in honour of every Calvin (or Hobbes) quote that ever made profound sense to is. We live our lives fighting this inherent randomness because the society around us has somehow managed to sell it to us that the aforementioned things have no value. Through Unmaad, we make a firm and emphatic statement that everything need not have “value” and there isn’t necessarily one correct way of doing things. Thus in the words of the great David Gilmour, Unmaad belongs to all the ravers, the seers of vision, the painters, the fighters and the rebels. Unmaad 2010 belongs to the class of 2009. This wonderful bunch of people will step out of the gates of TISS (and not worry about the 12:30 curfew) and begin their quest to shape their lives. Unmaad 2010 aims to be a snapshot of their days here and maybe forty years down the line they will be proudly browsing through the pages of this magazine as they proudly brag to their grandkids about their days of wonder here at TISS. Unmaad 2010 belongs to the class of 2009. This bunch has a full year ahead of them and in this period they hope to live a lifetime. For them, Unmaad aspires to be the Hitchhikers’ Guide to the TISS Galaxy. Without much ado (and rambling), please turn over this page and enjoy the randomness, happiness and madness of TISS morphed into a creative whole. This magazine is about you and more importantly... the random in you !
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I am honoured to write this message for ‘UNMAAD’ the annual magazine brought out by the students of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. The magazine provides a platform for the talented TISS Family by showcasing their creativity. It also reflects on the experiences and achievements of our students, thereby giving us a glimpse of the bright futures that our students have. In addition to very demanding curriculum, the students organized academic festivals around a set of critical concerns of their respective programme of study. The students mobilized resources, brought eminent scholars and activists as speakers and provided an opportunity for students from other schools in the country to participate in the festivals. During 2009–10 the students organized following festivals: • Manzar by the students of Development Studies. • Manthan by the students of Human Resources Management and Industrial Relations. • Sameeksha by the students of School of Social Work. • Clairvoyance was organised by the students of School of Health System Studies. • Cut. In - video festival by the students of Centre of Media and Cultural Studies. The TISS attracts and works with some of the most conscientious and committed bright young people in the country. This volume of UNMAAD epitomizes their life at TISS during the academic year 2009–10. It truly celebrates the spirit of freedom and success, in spite of the difficulties and challenges faced. I commend the editorial team for bringing out this volume with the limited time and resources available to them. I wish all the success to the students, staff and faculty of TISS and hope they will strive for excellence in the years to come. I also extend my very best wishes for the success of ‘UNMAAD.’
S. Parasuraman Director
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Mumbai, March 2010
DEAN, STUDENT’S AFFAIRS MESSAGE
Dear students, This is the fourth year in succession that the student magazine UNMAAD is being brought out. Despite a hectic schedule of classes, year end assignments and evaluations, I appreciate the efforts of the Students Union (2009-2010) and specially the Literary Secretary, Anwesha Dutta, for giving time and commitment towards this venture. It has been an eventful year where the Institute and the student body together have faced several challenges. We have worked closely together on issues ranging from accommodation and financial aid for students to monitoring the health situation during the swine flue scare. I have to say that it is a source of great satisfaction to me that in the role I play with the students, I meet several genuine and upright individuals with their hearts and intellect in the right place. In this magazine, I wish to contribute a poem by a faculty who I met in one of my workshops in Dibrugarh, Assam. My brief interaction with her encouraged me to think that with a faculty like her, young people are in safe hands. It is once again that time of the year when the summer heat is upon us and also the time of the year, when we bid farewell to the batch of 2008-2010. From the Office of Students’ Affairs we wish you all the best and hope that all of you will find your feet in the world outside in your chosen vocations. As always, we will be happy to welcome you back as our alumni. Good luck to all of you.
Prof. Nasreen Rustomfram Dean, Students’ Affairs
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Ms. Koyel, GL 2nd Year
The Wall Every day, on her way to college, she heard him talk. Through the hole in the wall she heard him. A disembodied voice, talking about the weather, an advertisement in the local paper, last evening’s dance recital… She would pause by the wall and lose herself in the melody of his voice. It wasn’t a musical voice, neither was it a stage voice; it was just a voice that immediately went to one’s heart. It held the quality of suggestion, and in it she caught glimpses of herself. It was these daily sessions that transported her to a plane of existence she had been hitherto unaware of, and was now addicted to. For some reason, he was her secret. She did not share the story of the magical voice with her friends or family. She half thought she would be forbidden to walk that route again, if the elders at home realised she was falling in love with an idea. It went on like this for a year. The listener and the speaker, one unaware of the other, communicating as only stranger friends can do. Sometimes she wondered why she did not step around the corner and show herself. Other times she would be horrified at herself for even thinking of such a thing.
“Hey!” came a hissed voice, a child’s voice. “You want to know about the man, I can tell you. Come with me.” She followed the voice to a narrow alleyway, where she was guided to a makeshift home. “You want to know about him. He’s gone. I know you. You would listen to him talk every day. I listened too, to you and him. He knew you were here as well; your shadow used to fall around the corner. He made it a point to find newer and newer things to talk about.” She didn’t know what to say. “He knew I listened? Who is he? What does he do? Where is he now?” The child laughed. “Of course he knew. He knew many things. He’s gone now. He just left. I asked him, but he didn’t tell me why.”
The listening sessions had drawn for her a picture of him in her mind. Every word would be a like a piece of a puzzle as intangible as a wisp of smoke. She thought she had the last few pieces in place, when suddenly, one day, he wasn’t there anymore.
“Why did he never ask me to stop listening?”
She tried to hold her anxiety, but when he failed to appear for the next two days, she finally stepped around the wall.
“What do you mean?”
“Where did he go?” she asked the first person she ran into. “The man who sat here, day after day?” “Oh him”, came the answering grunt. “He’s gone.” And she could get nothing more out of the man. She tried speaking to the fruit seller, the flower seller, but they were all reluctant to talk to her. Feeling sick with disappointment, she turned to go.
The child laughed again. “You mean, why did he never talk to you? “For the same reason that you never spoke to him, of course.”
“He’s got leprosy, hasn’t he? He’s a leper. You were disgusted by him too, weren’t you?” Now it was her turn to laugh, as she got up to leave, curiously happy. “I’m blind, you silly child. I don’t even know what leprosy looks like.” o
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Ms. Swati Jha, MPH 1st Year
The Quirky People In My Life Looking out of the bus on my way to college today, I got thinking about the quirky people in my life. Here are a few for you. Rishie is the sweetest soul on earth; he would invite all the lonely people on earth and befriend them...-and he does that irrespective of the fact whether they want to befriended!!When you meet him, even if it is after a decade, you receive the same warm welcome deserving of a bosom chum- the only problem is that he greets the drivers, the shop assistants, the various handymen and women in his life similarly… making you wonder…..!!People have several complains in life…his generally is ‘so and so refused to be his guest’!! Even though you desire his company, you would put it off if that particular day, you aren’t in an exuberant mood. Smita is another one. If you ever intend to get your message across, speak the opposite. If you complain about the healthcare system, she’ll have ten ready statements opposing you. If you dare speak against the maid, she’ll make you feel guilty in a couple of minutes. The moment you begin cribbing about life, be assured you’ll discover two hundred new reasons to start living with full vigor. When people say its cold and dipping mercury points to same, she’ll venture out in her sexiest clothing. And expect her to come dressed up as a Saudi woman meeting the religious police - for a beach party! Shalini is another character who is the living example of the proverb ‘chirag tale andhera’! She’ll go out of her way to help someone, never mind her own work never got done in the process and that it inconvenienced you too!!
Her free car-service is always ready - if you need to go some place urgently, it’s a given that you take the public transport-the family vehicle is ferrying somebody else somewhere on the planet. At her parties, there are always more guests than either space or food; as a direct consequence of being her kin, you are the one who goes to bed hungry while gate crashers enjoy! She is so busy taking care of the world that you are quietly taking care of her work (and getting no credit in return). Rohan is the perfect fighter; it’s his birthright to fight with the world verbally or physically. Well, to show his strength, what else! You walk on the road and meet ten people who give you menacing looks, you wonder what has happened. A tug at memory strings reminds you that these are the new folks Rohan has been trying out his macho skills in the past week. I’ll make more enemies in this world due to this brother of mine than make friends courtesy my skills! Ravi looks at only two things-the mirror and the fairer sex! He’s been chided by parents innumerable times for the former and received innumerable injuries, both mental and physical for the latter! He says he is inspired by ‘Arjun’ in Mahabharat –he’s not ever going to lose focus !And since he’s too young to settle down anytime in the near future ,I foresee another year of bruises and battering at the hands of boyfriends, brothers, fathers et al.. I don’t know what I would do without these people in my life …for starters.. begin living peacefully!! o U n m a a d ‘ 10
Ms. Arunima Chakraborty 1st Year Globalisation and Labour
The Invisible Men and Women At 7o’clock on a balmy Sunday morning, Shoshele went for a morning walk to her neighbourhood park. She was feeling as fresh as the invigorating, cool breeze of the twilight hour and as cheerful as the twittering birds around her. After all, not every morning does she manage to wake up early enough to go for walks though she resolves to do so every night. She hummed a tune, and jogged along the empty avenue towards the park. That is where, she told herself, I shall stroll for sometimes and then head back home to get ready for college. As the dim amber marquee hanging overhead gradually turned azure, the Chembur streets, unfamiliar in their desolation, began to regain their usual bustling air. People, ubiquitous and nondescript, started populating the thoroughfares. ‘How short-lived was the romantic quietude of the place’, she sighed, and nonchalantly jogged on… By the time she reached her destination she was panting with fatigue and collapsing on the bench, wondering if she should return home. But she s colded herself, “Exhausted or lazy; this is how I perpetually feel. Can I try being a little active for a change?” She looked around – there were people in the park who were jogging vigorously or exercising frantically or walking briskly and even sauntering dreamily. She would join them in a moment; she told herself and continued to sit in the not-so-comfortable bench. As her gaze moved around the park, she discovered that there were other people there apart from the fitness enthusiasts. People who were there for reasons other than her own-who were there to sell wares! There was a nariyal pani wala who was doing brisk business with many health freaks crowding around him to have the revitalizing drink. She thought of queuing up there too when she smelt the appetizing aroma of fried vada; yes, an idli-vada seller was there at the park too. There was a tea-vendor and a woman who was sweeping away the dead leaves and other garbage. Shoshele looked out through the grills of the park-she no longer saw merely crowded streets populated by nondescript people.
She saw newspaper vendors peddling their bicycles, vegetable-hawkers, and men with piles of bricks on their heads who probably were labourers at some nearby construction sites. As she sat on the park bench, riveted by the sights which suddenly seemed to have emerged before her, she found herself recollecting the words of her professor, “The informal sector is not invisible. It is there all around us; we interact with its players every day yet we chose not to notice the mammoth, thriving structure.” True, in a sprawling metropolis like Mumbai, we notice with admiration posh sky-scrappers, glittering shopping malls and swanky eateries. And we see-or chose not to see-dingy, squalid streets where we assume poverty and deprivation thrive. How many of us, she asked herself, think of the millions who battle every day on Mumbai avenues and alleys to make a decent living? They look neither malnourished and grimy nor chic and affluent and hence, rarely ever catch our attention. They, along with their counterparts all over the country constitute 93% of India’s working population-they who are the informal sector workers. Shoshele’s mind once again plunged into reveries; the numerous theories which she had read on causes of growth and characteristics of the informal sector, now jostled for attention in her head… The term Informal sector generally denotesdespite conflicting opinions regarding its defining features-the wide gamut of economic activities which are not legally regulated or recognized and workers who do not enjoy any form of protected employment relations. Its components can broadly be divided into two categoriesthe self employed who run small enterprises with varied amounts of capital investment and the wage workers who enjoy neither wage nor employment security and protection. U n m a a d ‘ 10
Is the growth of the informal or unorganized sector always viewed as an alarming trend? The term was coined by Keith Hart in his 1971 study on the urban economy of Ghana and during this decade, the dominant view as propounded by the Dualist School was that the informal sector comes into existence in developing countries due to over-population and low absorption of labour in the formal sector. It is not related to the formal industrial development and would meet its demise when modern industrial growth becomes more inclusive. The Structuralist School which emerged in the 1980s, on the other hand, viewed the informal sector as inextricably linked to the formal sector-it reduces the input and labour costs of the big businesses by serving as their sub-ordinate economic ad manufacturing units to which work is subcontracted. Thus, it is the capitalist system of production which makes the unregulated informal sector persist to enhance its own profitability. This explains why there has been, despite a consistent GDP growth rate of over 6.5% in the past decade, lack of employment generation in the formal sector of India. Following the implementation of the LPG (Liberalisation, Privatisation, Globalisation) model in the early 1990s, labour laws were considerably relaxed and as a result, the formal sector witnessed capital-intensive growth. Employment was generated, all right but largely in the informal sector where because of its unregulated nature, big firms can employ workers without having any legal obligations to offer them decent wages, safe working conditions and social security measures. The third school of thought, the Legalist School led by economist Hernando Di Sotto, tries to explain the rise of the informal sector by the fact that in many countries, the process of acquiring legal recognition for business enterprises is expensive and cumbersome. The small entrepreneur naturally finds it more advantageous to operate his unit illegally rather than to suffer at the hands of bureaucratic red-tapism. Recent studies have revealed that the informal sector tends to expand in a country when it faces economic downturn as had happened in the Asian ‘Tiger’ countries during the economic crisis of 1997.
The private as well as public firms were downsized or closed and consequently, was created a large number of retrenched workers who swarmed to join the informal sector. Thus, the informal sector does not exist simply because our housing society bhajiwala( vegetable vendor) and the millions of others like him do not have the requisite skills to participate in the technology-driven, competitive ‘knowledge’ economy. They continue to have such traditional source of livelihood because the formal, capitalist economies can thrive only with the support of informal sector. Its members do not enjoy fixed hours of work, safe working conditions, security of employment or wages and any of the benefits for which the working class movement has struggled for over a century now-maternity benefits, pension on retirement, non-employment of child labour etc. there are legal, political and economic complexities which have contributed to the expansion of the informal economy.… Shoshele was shaken out of her reverie by a sudden noise; she turned back to see a red track pants-clad man arguing with the nariyalpani wala over something. She overheard the man’s agitated voice, “You are a cheat, I say. How dare you give charge fifteen bucks for so small a coconut. It is not worth even…” She looked away. Every day, the thousands of people all around her-the street peddlers, the domestic helps, the factory workers, the agriculture labourers, the road-side dhaba owners et alstruggle against not just poverty but socio-economic inequality and injustice. They struggle for a life of dignity. It is high time, Shoshele pondered, the state accorded them at least that much. “But what about the people? When would they learn to recognize the innumerable and affordable services offered by the informal sector? Will Mr. Red-track pants ever demand an explanation from the manager of a swanky eatery in a posh mall as to why everything is so expensive there?” Shoshele felt indignant; if her friends had seen her then, they would have sworn that she had never seemed more sweaty and pensive before. U n m a a d ‘ 10
Ms. Sangeeta Roy 1st Year Women’s Studies
Chaste – through the first scuttle and scurry of joining mother’s arms at recess as the nuns stop me to ‘pull up my socks up to my knees’ I almost rush past to Mumma, not past the experience though... As chastity gets implanted and built and nurtured through thread, hems, fabric, length, flesh, and words until I do not know which precedes what The discourse in the car pool I travelled got built around flesh and length again, amidst coy eyes nudging one another and nibbling nails. Couldn’t we have been a little bolder? A little, little more bold like my friend who wore a dark pink sleeveless dress on her birthday only to be mutilated by words, by us and the nuns alike So I added colour and loud as an antithesis to chaste. I wondered why as the elasticity of the socks loosened, they always receded down as also did necklines, imbibed beliefs, and morals and so on And on a dull grey day, I wonder if it is not simply the force of gravitation… I decide to delve amidst pores of flesh and on to blood, bones, tissue and other things to recover the impermeable chasteness until I run vacant and stifled each time being put on medication with anti allergens I pinch and prick and press hard every bit of my flesh as my cousin runs snuggling her love on the alleys and shores of this city My twelve institutional years keep running in and out and around and into me as I sit muffled and dumb even on sun coloured days to render them glum My head dances bedazzled as my friends sway their bodies to the music of the disc – as I effort at an overt placidity while my body runs wild My friends think I must be some sort of a nerd to be wearing socks all the time while I re- discover hemlines and peripheries constantly snuggling my pillow I detest my steady retreat into sleep to conceal my powerlessness to run into the sun Meanwhile my cousin runs, loves, pains and one day merges into my blue in a white saree (so I think) Chaste – through the yawn of the white cleavage she stands as the nails of her index, middle, ring and little fingers dig into her palm till I see the deep dense fiery liquid ooze and smack my face.
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Ms. Arpita Das A wizened man in a spotless white dhoti and cracked shoes. Thatâ€™s how I recall my first honey filled moment. Literally. It was one of the many firsts of my life in semi urban Assam. The move from the bustling metropolis life to an almost lazy one in an industrial township in Assam had its shares of novelty. The honey man was one of those memorable first time happenings.
Honey and MORE... When he first came to our house, I do not recall. But with every subsequent visit, he became a part of our lives. He brought with him the golden syrup in IMFL bottles which was unlike anything in packed bottles we had had so far. But even more than that he would bring with him anecdotes and tales of how he would collect the honey. Our favourite was his description of how his nose became the size of a cricket ball when the bees stung him. His countless repetitions of the story would leave us in splits never failing to amaze. Though at times his wares would not find their way into our home, his conversation and stories would linger long after he left. Times like these seem so integral to our existence that they seem to last a lifetime. Truth is that years pass and we grow up and go our different ways. The man grew more wizened and probably a little older. The spirit and the routine remained unchanged as ever. As we moved away from Assam, letters and phone calls would always find a mention of the honey man and his anecdotes. He seemed invincible. Till the day my mother told me he had not come for a week. As weeks turned to months, we resigned to the fact that he had stopped coming altogether, maybe forever. Lives and geographies changed.Today, I find myself buying honey packed in attractive bottles off the shelves of supermarkets. A golden liquid in a bottle with an ill fitting cap becomes the stuff memories are made of. Till the other day when a friend gives me the same nectar in a plastic bottle with an ill fitting cap. A semi urban township, a lazy life and a wizened man rush back to me. To a man who gave more than what he took, I hope you continue to bring joy with your wares and wit, wherever you are.
U n m a a d â€˜ 10
Dr. Nidhi Mathew MHA (HO) 1st Year
Web-based and social media tools are making it easier to get health information, find doctors, make appointments, keep records, and get support. These tools can revolutionize the healthcare field and the way people approach the practice of medicine. Getting across to the other side of the world is no more the mission of daring explorers. Media and communication have made this possible at the click of a button. The number of people who connect to the world through the internet is increasing exponentially. Blogs and social networks have made it possible to the let the world know about you and your world while you sit back on your personal computer in your own little corner. From video conferencing with dear ones across the globe to adding to your bank balance, the internet has made everything possible. Yet, for one sector in particular, engagement on blogs and social networks carries special concerns. That sector is healthcare. Medical societies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and doctors in private practice tend to view social media as fraught with pitfalls. But there are great opportunities for those willing to take the plunge. Web-based and social media tools are making it easier to get health information, find doctors, make appointments, keep records, and get support. These tools can revolutionize the healthcare field and the way people approach the practice of medicine. Health information One of the most obvious ways that the web and social media are making our lives healthier is in the proliferation of health information. Today, health mega-portals like “WebMD”, “Revolution Health”, and “Yahoo! Health” contain all the information one could possibly want — and it’s all searchable and available instantly.
Self diagnosis Being able to use the web for self diagnosis is truly revolutionizing the way many of us care for ourselves, and how we approach doctor visits. Other sites, such as “rVita”, which registers qualified medical practitioners to provide health information, and “Hakia Health”, which maintains a database of vetted medical information sources, help users to make sure the information they are getting online is accurate, reliable, and medically sound. Another web site, “OrganizedWisdom”, is something like Wikipedia for health, but every article is written and reviewed by qualified professionals. For those more interested in self-diagnosis, “DoubleCheckMD” can help you determine if your symptoms are the result of sickness or a medication you’re taking, or if medications are safe to take at the same time. The virtual doctor at “FreeMD”, meanwhile, will help you to figure out what’s wrong and if you need to visit a doctor. Choosing your doctor Choosing a doctor to visit every time you are ill is an important decision. Because medical care is so personal, you want to find someone you can trust and with whom you have a good rapport. Most people tend to rely on referrals from friends or colleagues when searching out a new doctor. Web sites like “Vitals” and “HealthGrades”, both of which provide independent doctor ratings based on a variety of data, are making it easier to locate a good doctor by using more information than just their name in the phone book. Other sites, such as “FindaDoc” and “RateMDs.com “rely more heavily on a consumer rating model, meaning you can pick a doctor based on the feelings of your peers.
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The web is even making appointment setting easier. In addition to providing a database of doctors with consumer reviews, “ZocDoc” also lets you book an appointment with that doctor straight from the Internet. It currently works in New York City. Treatment and patient support Though for most serious conditions you shouldn’t rely on the web for diagnosis or care, there are a handful of web sites beginning to offer actual medical treatment from real doctors. “American Well”, for example, creates software to facilitate online doctor consultations via a webcam that is currently being used by military service members and their families for web-based psychological evaluations, while “BreakThrough” offers a similar online service for civilian consumers who want to talk to qualified therapists from home by phone, chat, video, or email. UK-based “MyChoiceMD.com” offers a completely online doctor consultation service, as well. Creating and enabling support communities online is one area in which social media is perfectly suited. Online support group sites like “PatientsLikeMe” and “DailyStrength” offer online discussion groups for people going through a wide variety of medical treatments, ailments, or conditions. “CarePages” connects patients by encouraging them to share their stories through blogging and building support circles among friends, family, and peers. Another support group site, “MedHelp”, offers a wide variety of personal health applications, such as weight, addiction, blood pressure, and cholesterol trackers. These plug into the site’s social networking and support forums to give patients ways to track their health and progress while they receive support from others going through the same thing. Controlling costs If proven to be safe and accurate, online consultation and self-diagnosis, in addition to being an agoraphobe’s dream come true, could potentially save a lot of money by reducing overhead costs associated with running a busy office.
One way in which the web promises to severely reduce healthcare costs, is by digitizing records. Record-keeping accounts for a reportedly huge amount of the costs associated with the modern healthcare system, yet these records are kept mostly using archaic technology that is in dire need of modernization. Using so-called Personal Health Record (PHR) systems that would allow consumers to access their health records over the web like a credit score and send them anywhere they authorized (to doctors, emergency care centers, pharmacists, etc.) promises to revolutionize the way we give and receive care. Issues Though there are certainly major privacy issues to address, PHRs such as “Microsoft HealthVault”, “Google Health”, “WebMD PHR”, and “Revolution Health PHR” mean millions of dollars in cost-savings and potentially safer transfer of records to those who need to see them (so that we can assure, for example, that a patient is never given a medication they have an allergy to). In conclusion, studies show that over half of all “e-patients” are turning to social media. Whereas “non-user generated” healthcare content is generally based on academic knowledge, clinical results, and marketing spin, social media healthcare content is built on patient opinions and personal accounts. Therefore, over half of “epatients” are making healthcare decisions based, at least in part, on information provided by other patients. Social media provides a platform for unsolicited feedback. Two other advantages of social media are that conversations are peerto-peer rather than “moderator-to-consumer”, and patients are often afforded a greater level of anonymity in social media. The psychological differences between these two scenarios are likely to lead to the expression of more honest opinions. The only social media for healthcare that is effectively functional in India as of date is Healthcaremagic.com. Though healthcare through social media still has a long way to go in India, where affordable healthcare for all is the most pressing issue, the hopes are not bleak for its web-literate portion. U n m a a d ‘ 10
Ms. Deepika Rose Alex, MSW 2nd Year
Ideology and Ambedkar
...why Ambedkarism is considered different from humanism? Why Ambedkarian ideology is associated with dalits always? And dalits and non dalits who are scared of such an identity keep themselves away from Ambedkarian ideology?
India hasn’t actually produced any revolutionaries because of many of the structural constraints that we have. By revolution I mean here, a radical structural change. But in DR. B.R Ambedkar we can see different colors of radicalism coming together, from radical humanism, to radical structuralism. Ambedkar for a major part of his life was a radical humanist. He wanted to liberate the human reason from the chains of Hinduism, dominated by samhitas and shastra and to celebrate human dignity. When the whole India was fighting against the slavery from British, he stood alone against internal slavery that a group of people was undergoing. To him India’s political freedom is useless unless and until it attains social justice inside its boundaries. And when India attained her freedom, he considered it not independence, but a mere transfer of power from colonizers to a set of internal elites. And to him nationalism was the conspiracy of this group to create a myth of India as a nation, even in the brain of the slaves of that period, dalits. It was nationalism without a nation, for him. India’s experiences till now have proved it right. He proclaimed his aim is the recovery of human dignity of a group of people who were considered worse than animals by the Brahminical society. he was the most learned person of the time and through his careful scrutiny of Vedic literature he arrived at the conclusion that India’s history is written from the Brahminical perspective and brought into light all the Brahmin conspiracy against shudras, women and nature. Through his thorough engagement with knowledge he arrived at a point where he defined what an ideal religion should be like. His idea of reforming Hindu religion was deconstruction and reconstruction. He questioned the base of Hindu religion by rejecting the authority of Vedas and shastras. When he felt this transformation can’t be possible from within he went outside through the mass conversion to Buddhism.
Thus he became a radical structuralist, not exactly by creating a dialectical opposite to religion, but a parallel structure called Buddhism against the existing oppressive structure of Hinduism. He was a mass leader, the great human right activist, subaltern historian and enlightened man that India has ever seen. His fight was for human dignity. If this is the case, then why Ambedkarism is considered different from humanism? Why Ambedkarian ideology is associated with dalits always? And dalits and non dalits who are scared of such an identity keep themselves away from Ambedkarian ideology? Is it that Marxism and Weberism are a safer shelter when people talks about ideologies? Do they have a clear reason why they are Marxist? is it that they adopt a Marxist label because they feel it’s something western and intellectual and so it is elitist ? I argue that many dalits who claims themselves as Ambedkarites do so because they are dalits and they haven’t understood Ambedkarian ideology outside the casteist framework from a humanist perspective, and the non dalits rejects Ambedkarism also for the same reason. I agree to the fact that Ambedkar is the only intellect who showed the untouchables a way out of their oppression. But his theorizations had the potential to be a universal critical perspective just like Marxism. There are many misinterpretations that have been prevalent all these years. What does the word Dalit mean? Yes it meant broken. But it’s not the case now. Dalit the term has a revolutionary assertion associated with it. it means disagreeing and delineating oneself from the elitism. From the dominant ideology. From the oppressors. In that sense the term Dalit is not only associated with the so called lower castes, although the concept is a challenge to Brahmanism. Dalit is a word that reflects the multiple voices of the oppressed. It is a word that signifies the protestors, anyone who dares to challenge the hegemony. U n m a a d ‘ 10
The Brahminical society has a role in stigmatizing the term dalits and also the efforts and ideology of Dr.Ambedkar. As G. Alosious says, ‘within the mainstream social sciences the man is considered as the leader of the Mahar caste at worst and the drafter of constitution at best...keeping Ambedkar as far away as possible from the sacred/secretive subject of nation and nationalism ,(many among the intelligentsia would not hesitate considering him even as an anti national)is part and parcel of the overall elite strategy to maintain the dominance of its ideology over knowledge-production and knowledge - circulation in this country’. (Aloysius, 2009) Dominant voices made him the messiah of untouchables. And Ambedkarian perspective is a perspective untouched. A great example is how Ambedkar ideology which is a universal ideology is prevented from being institutionalized in Indian universities and schools. Still Dalit social work is not a part of social work institutes across the country, except TISS.
mosquitoes Ms. Koyel, GL 2nd Year
But in TISS also while all the critical theories including Marxism, feminism, and postmodernism is taught, Ambedkarian perspective, which is the most relevant anti-oppressive perspective in Indian context, is not taught. You are not even in a position to discuss about Ambedkarian perspective as we don’t know it, and its potentials. What is needed is an intellectual activism. It’s an activism through pen, voice and your way of life and thinking. Ambedkarian ideology is an ideology misinterpreted. Every Dalit should be able to proclaim loudly that s/he is a Dalit, understanding what is the meaning of the term. Your caste is not the only aspect that is making you a Dalit. Your experiences, your attitude and your courage make you a Dalit. Ambedkarian ideology is your ideology not only because you belong to a particular caste, but also, you believe in equity. Because you are evolving and liberating yourself from the hegemony. You have the courage to stand against the dominant voice.
As it so happens, mosquitoes bother me. I am not one of them who can absently swat at one of them irritating buggers and flip the page in the same motion. I start up when I hear the whine in my ear, wildly slap at it, and nurse my coffee waiting to hear it approach again. I cannot concentrate when there are mosquitoes around me; I cannot sleep if I see a mosquito in the vicinity. People are scared of snakes. I fear mosquitoes. The other day, I was at a coffee shop, drinking coffee and silently waiting for ideas to catch me. It was good coffee, and the sun was lazy, so I was willing to indulge their absence. Besides, I had money, for a change. How long can a good morning last? Before long, I heard an electric crack. The fly catcher had caught a mosquito. My scalp prickled. Where there is one, there are bound to be others. A crazed brood, out for psychological blood. I think they know their power. I am convinced they know the potency of their whine, otherwise, why do they fly around your ear? If it was food they were after, a quick swoop and a suck ought to have satiated them. I would never grudge them their nutrition; it’s the whine I object to. I want to reach for my hair and tear them out, when I hear it… I shifted to another table, but it was futile. The mosquitoes entered like a swarm and smothered the tiny place. I pushed back my chair, struggled with my wallet, and ran for the door. Beads of sweat dotted my middle-aged brow. Out on the pavement, the sun was suddenly too hot, and there were suddenly too many people. Nobody seemed to mind the mosquitoes except for me. They were blackening the horizon, like clouds of locusts I had seen on TV. The skin became tight against my throat, and I couldn’t breathe. I gasped and gagged, and staggered past people carrying umbrellas and children. Shield the children! I wanted to squeak. The mosquitoes are coming! The mosquitoes are coming…The mosquitoes are coming… U n m a a d ‘ 10
Ms. Archana N.K MSW 1st Year
Random Observations and Reflections on Transport Service Delivery ...The faded proclamation of the ice cream guy’s persona cracks me up. Poor unsuspecting ice cream vendor, I wonder which cruel individual did his branding for him. ...Three examples of observation will suffice. The rate at which I notice things outside my auto ride (and in) I begin to look quite the maniac, solitary, laughing or smiling unnaturally.
Too much introspection could give you Gastroenteritis and over analyzing gives you Spondylitis, so switch off thought and shine that metal rusted torch on observation instead. So I saw Pinocchio hanging by his pointy blue hat, arms apart, looking absolutely schizophrenic on 80 ft road. Childhood trauma could be attributed to such sights. (This lady was selling stuff toys on the footpath, she assumed the best way to display Pinocchio was to hang him by his hat to the branch of the tree she sat under, and little did she know). 100 ft road this time(whats with the Bangalore Corporation’s obsessive compulsion to measure the width of each street in Indirangar and name it after the precise measurement! And whats with the obsession with coloniser progeny nomenclature in Cox town). Digression unfortunately was never a recessive gene. Right, 100 ft road! This ice cream guy, bicycle, square metallic ice box and all has ‘Sugar Daddy’ in some trippy font written at the back of the box. The faded proclamation of the ice cream guy’s persona cracks me up. Poor unsuspecting ice cream vendor, I wonder which cruel individual did his branding for him. John Kannedy: My auto driver one fine morning. Immaculately dressed. Blue suit, oiled side parting and flashy grin intact. Thank heavens for auto driver ID. Three examples of observation will suffice. The rate at which I notice things outside my auto ride (and in) I begin to look quite the maniac, solitary, laughing or smiling unnaturally. Flit flit flit maybe I need a paperweight. The trapped bubbles interspersed with rainbow swirls variety. Or an antique wooden clothes pin so that the bright red twisted nylon rope and me could exchange some real life stories. I’m currently travelling with a salmon, through Budapest sometimes, chanting down Babylon other times. Lazy Hendrix Saturdays (that run into extra time) with Large, she’s rather obsessed with Jimi, it worries me sometimes. Steer clear of the Upper Case speaker or even the toGgle caSe conVersEr. They adversely affect your tympanum. The Great Indian Auto Driver (Autous severeus pain- in –the- backsideus) a rare species found only in the concrete jungles like metro construction-torn Bengalooru. Origins, taxonomy and anatomy: Bipedal gastropods with rodentia tendencies (black and yellow shell with a monochromatic numerical identification board attached to the rear end). U n m a a d ‘ 10
An offshoot of the homo sapiens species, accidentally created by a deranged lab assistant who got pushed around by an engineering student of the 4th semester and vowed to take revenge on human society. The seats inside, are designed in such a manner that the passenger remains concealed in really-tricky shadow however obese or brightly appareled so that you are mercilessly fooled into believing that an empty auto has finally made its way to you. Habitat: Thrive in any kind of climate; generally roam the streets preying on any form of vehicular lacking life on the pretext of transporting them from place A to place B. Known to have caused severe psychological diseases in the human species. These include anxiety and stress related disorders etc which over a period of time causes schizophrenia. Early therapy and anger management could slightly improve these conditions. Solitary hunters, though they cause far more damage to society when they organize themselves into packs. Also known to speak the English language, however this is restricted to mainly 3 phrases including: ‘Double meter’,’100 rupees’ and ‘Ten rupees extra’. Behavioral Patterns: Primarily sadistic, the kind that makes you wanna pull your hair out and subsequently split each one of them in geometric perfection. If they haven’t looked right through your exhausted post-work self, they might slow down because you’re literally blocking the road with your arms waving frantically, akin to either someone possessed or afflicted by convulsions. The slowing down gives way to a series of questions about the precise location of your house, main, cross, stage, landmark and all. After eliciting the aforementioned details they decide to take pity on you and generously offer you one of those darn English phrases. Details of the reactions they bring out involve a series of expletives both colloquial and otherwise and violence meted out to inanimate objects in the vicinity of the stranded being . Here are some common excuses used to push our kind into the realm of insanity: 1. Wire got cut: So after FINALLY getting an auto guy to agree to transport you, you take a deep breath and sit back and suddenly he begins slowing down, you have vague misgivings about where this deteriorating speed’s heading, seconds later he confirms your suspicions by declaring that his wire got cut.
What wire? What *%#@*^skull symbol^#$ wire? You’re subsequently deposited on a street that invariably has NO autos; the auto with a “cut wire” has sped down the opposite side. 2. School auto: Compulsive liars could take a lesson or two from these guys. So after the entire rigmarole of geographic interrogation they suddenly acquire this beatific glow, knit their eyebrows, tilt their heads and mutter “school children” pointing to the EMPTY seat behind. He expects you to feel irrepressibly guilty and damn yourself to hell for actually asking this noble transporter of vulnerable school kids to abandon the helpless lil uns. Expect a middle aged lazy woman agreeing to pay extra and hopping in ten ft away. 3. No fuel: You finally resort to standing in a queue at one of the auto stands for a coupla centuries and eras. Human life is at its worst here; the specimens you encounter are bound to drive you into solitary confinement for at least 48 hours. Loud aunties who’ve bought Malabar gold or somesuch, live size Barbie dolls who converse with each other while being on the phone with their boyfriends etc, the air reeks of plastic shopping bags and commercial street perspiration. Oops digression yet again. So after you’ve subjected yourself to these undesirable conditions, an auto comes by. The lone cop literally runs behind him, brings him to a screeching halt and he argues for an eternity about the lack of petrol. There’s not enough to last the end of the road even. But then again the all too familiar sight of the rear and a cloud of dust and petrol fume emission. Public service message: Steer clear of The Blur. A rather dangerous variety created by the inclusion of chemical ‘pqrs’. Their driving skills are despicable. Visuals that come to mind: Someone given a shot of adrenalin and asked to dash through a maze of prickly plants/one of them tom and jerry cartoons where tom’s rear’s burning and he’s looking for a pail/ horses let out of racing gates/ animal released into the wild after centuries of torture. It’s not really the speed that threatens to give you a cardiac arrest, it’s the way they weave through the traffic at that very speed. Spurts of speed enough to mess up an entire nervous system.
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Mr. Biswaranjan Tripura MSW 1st Year
The Genesis of Political Movement in Tripura
Abstract This paper attempts to study the genesis of first political movement (TUJS) in Tripura. The demographic complexity of the state gave rise to TUJS and thus created hegemony between the indigenous people and the immigrants. The Chronological demography reveals that Tripura is the only state in India where successive migration has reduced its original residents to a minority in their own land. Tripura demographic is a rare event in world history. An analytical study Tripura is a land-locked state with Mizoram in East, Assam in Northeast and 800 K.M. of porous international border with Bangladesh in North, West and South. It was traditionally the abode of about twenty tribes, who had their distinct traditions, customs and dialects. Kokborok has been the main dialect for indegenous people. It is spoken by about 80% of tribal population. Prominent tribes include Tripuris, who constitute majority followed by Reang, Noatia, Jamatia and smaller groups like Chakma, Mizo and Garos. In pre-Independence era it was a tribal dominated state but its aboriginal population got submerged in the growing waves of migration from erstwhile East Pakistan, which became Bangladesh in 1971. The immigrants now constitute over 68% of state population and their mother tongue Bengali is the official state language against kokborok, which enjoys the status of second language. The Indian Government ignored the demographic complexity while rehabilitating the unrestricted flow of non-tribal Bengali refugees in this state. Transformed from a predominantly tribal State to a non-tribal majority state the population of the tribes was reduced from 64% in 1864 to 52% in 1901, 37 % in 1951 and 29% in 1971(Encyclopedia of North-East India, Volume VIII, -H.M. Bareh). By the end of twentieth century the tribal’s population was reduced to 28%. The tragedy of partition therefore, not only disturbed the demographic balance but the progressive increase in state population and steady decline in the proportion of the natives also caused economic, sociological and political upheaval and turned it into a battleground of ethnic turbulence.
Uprising of political hegemony Since the days of Independence extreme tribalism has been the main focus of politics in all the tribal dominated regions of the country. In Tripura too organizations like Paharia Union and Tripura Rajya Adivasi Sangh came up in early nineteen fifties for championing the cause of the tribal’s. The ethnic diversity and personality clashes among the different tribes and sub-tribes were however, the greatest hurdle for political unity among them. Their disunity helped the mainstream political parties likeCongress andCommunist to play deceitful and scandalous politics and accordingly they ignored the demographic complexity in the rehabilitation of the large scale influx of non-tribal Bengali refugees in this prominently tribal State. Indian Parliament enacted Tripura Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act 1960 and put restriction on transfer of tribal land to non-tribal. But due to political power in the hand of Bengalis the Act remained in paper only as the immigrants manipulated the registration of tribal lands fraudulently. Tripura Upajati Juba Samity (TUJS) Formation of an umbrella organization namely ‘Tripura Upajati Juba Samiti’ (TUJS) in June 1967 as an independent political party for championing the cause of the natives was a new chapter in the political history of Tripura. Its student’s front namely Tripura Students Federation (TSF) emerged as an effective force in mobilizing the youths. The main focus of the TUJS centered round the demand for Autonomy, language and land that were: U n m a a d ‘ 10
• Autonomous District Council under Sixth schedule of Indian Constitution • Extension of inner-line permits system for Tripura. • Introduction of Kokborok in Roman script as medium of instruction for the tribal students. • Restoration of the ownership over tradition land to the tribal’s. Tripura National Volunteer (TNV) After being caught in the whirlpool of political chauvinism of the Congress, the Communists and ‘Amra Bengali, the restive militant cadres of Tripura Sena led by Bijoy Harankhwal, the then Assistant General Secretary of the TUJS formed Tripura National Volunteers (TNV) alias Tripura National Volunteer Force (TNVF) in December 1978. It was an organised beginning of insurgency in the State. It declared liberation of Tripura from Indian Union. Meanwhile Tripura Legislative Assembly passed Tripura Autonomous District Council Act 1979 for the tribal areas, which cover 68% of the total state area. Although, the Act provided opportunity to 30% of the state population for self-government under fifth Schedule of the Constitution, it failed to calm down the rising tide of insurgency in the state. Dinesh Singh Committee Report on Tripura violence submitted in 1980 stated:
“Prolonged agitation in Assam on foreigners issue had its fall out in Tripura. Representatives of TUJS participated in the North-eastern Regional Students Union held at Dibrugarh and in the session of the executive council of the forum of the Hill Regional Parties of the Northeastern Region at Shillong earlier this year. They started a demand for deportation of foreigners who had come to Tripura after 1949 when Tripura joined the Indian Union”
Emergence of INPT The Indigenous party of Tripura (INPT) was a political party in the India state of Tripura formed on June 9, 1997 when the TUJS and Tripura Tribal National Conference(TTNC) merged. Initially the Tripura National Volunteers (TNV) of Bijoy Hrangkwal was supposed to merge into the Indigenous people’s front of Tripura (IPFT), but they withdrew from the project. Debabrata Koloi became the IPFT general secretary. IPFT gained its political breakthrough in the elections to the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) in 2000. In 2001, Tripura Upajati Juba Samiti (TUJS) merged with IPFT to form new party named Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) Conclusion The remedy of the problem therefore, primarily lies in the hands of the political rulers. However, since the emergence of TUJS in 1967 as a regional party, both the Congress and the CPM, which are the major political parties in Tripura, tried to win over its leaders for their respective political games. Their nexus with the militant cadres in pursuance of their deceitful and divisive politics for respective political hegemony in the State made the situation from bad to worse.
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SMELL LLEMS By - Shubham
What do you expect to smell when you walk out of your place to start your day, my people? Or the question can be asked this way, “what do you smell when you start your day?” I think I can guess some of the answers. Flowers? Those ‘divine’ incense sticks? Brown bread from the bakery? That lady’s hair in your building’s lift? Desi baghaar from your neighbour’s house? Every time I start my day on Mondays and Tuesdays, when I go out for my field work, I get myself prepared to smell a few things. I’ll list them in the sequence of events that result in my encounter with them. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Walk out of the building. Smell the left over wet waste by the Municipality people. Take an auto to Govandi station. Feel the smell from the slaughter house nearby. Enter the galli to the platform number 2. Smell the stale snacks. Stand on the platform number 1. Smell the eatables at the IRCTC stall ‘dominated’ by Wada pau! ‘Try’ to get on the train to CST. Smell a zillion body odours.
Before mentioning the next event, I must tell you people that I LOVE the Tantra t-shirts for their sarcasm. And I strongly believe them. One of them said, “Indian Railways- Bringing people closer”. I can feel the closeness every time I get on a train to CST in the morning. Now, there are different types of ‘closeness’s’ that you can be a part of. You will be enlight ened in the following notes.
Be a part of “Bringing People Closer” campaign in the train- smell the ‘Navratna tel’ from apne bhai log!
Research statement that is bubbling up for long now: Navratna tel is the largest selling hair oil among young, skinny and busy men that com mute in locals to CST on the harbour line!
7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.
If it’s your day, have armpits on your face- smell them. Yeah. I know, I sound yucky at times! Get down at the ‘task station’. You are out of vacuum now. Smell oxygen. Yes, it has a smell. Do smell it. It is about to get extinct in the natural form. Go to slums for field work. Smell garbage again. Also, hear the tales of people getting numb to those odours. Get shocked. Eat and have tea with budding politicians. Smell food. If you have a slightly more devel oped sense of smell, Gandhi on the 500 note will also give you something to smell. Come back to the room. Wash your face. Smell some dettol. You have room partners with crazy eating habits, smell sulphides and nitrates. They have slept now. There’s only the dilute smell from the dumping ground at your east for your nose. Smell it, you don’t have a choice. You are tired. Sleep. Smell peace. U n m a a d ‘ 10
Ms. Archana N.K. MSW 1st Year
SilentLucidity How could we ever think of encroaching upon a man’s territory, entering places that serve alcohol to consume and worst of all enjoy it instead of being there solely for the purpose of simultaneous entertainment by displaying our bodies while you ogle drunkenly? Such a shame for us, that we can’t respect those boundaries anymore.
Thank you Pramod Muthalik. Your outcry at the appalling westernisation of the Bharatiya Nari really saved our Sabhyata. You noble self appointed guardians of our Indian culture decided to undertake this herculean task of controlling us since our modern upbringing is clearly not conducive to the expected embracing of the ‘ideal Indian woman’ status. Storming those western representations of a daru joint and physically abusing those ‘immoral’ women was totally justified, given the danger of their degeneration. Our hero! How could we ever think of encroaching upon a man’s territory, entering places that serve alcohol to consume and worst of all enjoy it instead of being there solely for the purpose of simultaneous entertainment by displaying our bodies while you ogle drunkenly? Such a shame for us, that we can’t respect those boundaries anymore. The incident in January last year sparked widespread questioning of the state’s role in the protection of women and the imposition of these established moral codes. It did not stop at Mangalore; violence against women was manifested in incidents all over Bangalore. Women were being attacked while travelling if they were wearing western clothes and pepper spray sales automatically went up. We began to consciously think about what it means to be a woman in a ‘liberated’ ‘modern’ welfare state. It made us rethink our means of defending our spaces in a society that chokes us with fumes of gender inequity. How do we begin conceptualising what it means to be a woman? What it means to be the ‘other’ what it means to be the second sex, what it means to be a mere afterthought. It begins with fear and a lengthy list of don’ts.
The distinction is made from those innocent childhood days, when we are constantly protected and supervised. No staying out late, no going to the neighbour’s house unattended, no clothes that expose your legs or shoulders too much, no excessive physical contact, nothing that makes you vulnerable, nothing that courts attention. Lay low. Stay invisible. Fear is a concept we grasp from the very beginning. A mere walk down the street is rarely free of heightened consciousness of our surroundings. You’re taught to be suspicious. To constantly keep an eye if you’re being followed or noticed. ‘Keep your wits about you’ I was walking down the street one afternoon when I woke up to the reality of how our physical selves are perceived. I2:00 pm, age 13, broad daylight, residential area (colony of row houses to be precise) I was just about to walk into my house when I felt a strange unpleasant sensation. I turned around and there he was, a youngish boy who facilitated the aforementioned awakening. He had pinched my ass, smirked and walked off with this air of confidence that I would not react. I did not. I was paralysed momentarily because I was firstly trying to comprehend what just happened moreover I had nothing to throw at him and he walked away before any stimulus responded. I walked into my house and detailed the incident to my father who happened to be home. His reaction kicked mine in. The youngish violator was still strolling up the road whistling when we got out of our compound. He was beaten senseless in front of my eyes and he quivered begging us for mercy. Hatred welled up inside me and I smirked just the way he had minutes ago. I looked straight into his eyes. I was awake now.
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What if my father had not been there at that precise point to defend me in that masculine fashion? I would have been consumed with that sick feeling of helplessness that we women face on an almost daily basis in covert or overt terms. The layers of harassment run deep, the perpetuation of patriarchy is insidious, all pervasive. Patriarchy is so carefully woven into the fabric of our existence that though we trod carefully we are not really aware till few threads come loose. Repression, silence, prescribed roles, moral policing, constricted movement, choked thought, what else can associate more. Assertions of space and self go unheard. We are walking on a tight rope here. Bodies are a burden. You have lecturers who deliver speeches to your chest, opportunistic bus conductors who push against you as if by mistake, and policemen who think they are doing their job my giving you a ‘reassuring pat’ on your thigh. The nature of these subtle sexual infringements are offensive and they all produce that sick feeling but how much can you protest. You learn to ignore it and live with it. We are biologically disadvantaged they say hence we must abide by their rules. I had to shift from a certain colony because I stood up to a neighbour who verbally threatened my sister because her friends were making noise talking to her at the gate. This man turned out to be some mafia connected sort for my good fortune. My voice that night was real, was loud and challenging and enough to shake that 6 ft burly man’s balance. I was able to stand my ground but we had to move out of the colony. The neighbours recommended it. This is the reality of our society, you’re taught to avoid confrontation and submit because if you don’t, physical violence is inevitable and the onlookers will not support a rebel, they are silent contributors to the conspiracy. Assertions are quickly subdued by the omnipresent masculine definitions of a woman’s place in society. Non-conformists are ‘asking for it’. Is equality a concept we can ever relate to in the gender sphere? Quell dissent, crush momentum, maintain the humid climate of ignorance and divert a thinking mind. Agenda easy enough to achieve, after all they have history to turn to for support. Gender constructs have divided society and ironically marginalised a majority (population wise that is).
Men are insecure. The increasing awareness that education, interpretation and a deeper analysis of our prescribed roles has led to assertive claims of identity, space and representation resulting in an unsettling of conventional social ordering that they are naturally not too comfortable with. Power dynamics are being questioned. The context I am referring to is not a political sphere. God knows those women began ‘bra burning’ and caused shifts of a magnitude that has allowed us lesser heroes to begin questioning on basic social level. I am talking of questioning of mundane routine relationships that seem to now acquire a new meaning and unfold dimensions distasteful enough for you to often reject them out rightly. Construction material companies display pictures of scantily clad voluptuous women who advertise for their products. Pray tell me the connection between breasts and cement production? Nothing is more convincing than a woman’s seductive beckoning of consumer purchasing power. Objectification and body politics, men are inherently incapable of controlling sexual urges (due to varied levels of fixation Freud would say) hence it is imperative for women the ‘weaker sex’ to be appropriately attired. Channelling their sexual urges in a socially acceptable manner is out of the question. Pornography sells like hot cakes. Other than the evident enjoyment of viewing women naked, they find pleasure in witnessing private sexual expressions of unknown women, completely undermining the sanctity of a man and woman’s physical union. The celebrated union is thus reduced to another reality show status. Men are allowed to whistle, eve tease and letch and we are blamed if these ‘harmless’ expressions get a little ‘out of hand’. She asked for it they’d say. Neighbourhood aunties would whisper in that self righteous way, “It was bound to happen’ their resignation to this patriarchal projection of morality is pathetic. These ‘Bharatiya Naris’ perpetuate ‘ideal’ qualities of submissiveness and invisibility and should be the flag bearers of Indianness.
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‘She asked for it’ was articulated by a man who thinks he is justifying domestic violence. The woman instigated him by not adding the right amount submissiveness to the meal that she prepared for him the previous night.
Sile n t
Post the Mangalore occurrence there were, as I mentioned before several sporadic extensions in Bangalore. Women were apparently getting too ‘westernized’ and getting out of hand. Cops have stormed into houses and labelled the women whores if they were wearing anything other than a Bhurka, Sari or Churidar. It was beyond their comprehension that a woman would be out at an unacceptable time of the night just to spend time. A ‘light’ woman is the only type who is allowed to deliver nocturnal services to the male populace. This from a constable who in all probability just exploited a Commercial Sex worker in return for a reduction in his hafta fee. Dowry deaths, Acid attacks, rape, forced abortions, HIV from a cheating husband. Where does it end? Where do we begin trying to reform this decayed social environment. We cannot change the older generations born out of and into strict patriarchal structures. They are a lost cause. We must wait; wait till we grow in numbers, consciousness and confidence. We need to surpass anatomy and prehistoric religious norms by attempting to define equality in dimensions beyond economy, political representation. A woman’s voice at the policy level has been heard, Marxian presumptions of economic oppression have been widely discussed, Legislations on Domestic Violence and Dowry have been passed, women in rural communities have rebelled.... we have come a long way. Three eventful waves later we stand examining our selves, feeling the visibility, tasting the diminishing resistance to collective voices of dissent, listening carefully to hitherto silent screams for help, watching the dismantled remains of male dominated spheres and inhaling fumes of our conceptions of promising freedom. What do we the women of here and now have to do to contribute to the continuum?
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opinions/feedbacks Disclaimer: The following two articles are personal views and opinions about the recently concluded Student’s Union (2010-2011) election. These are the writers own views and does not necessarily reflect, in any way, the opinion of the Returning Officers, old and/or new Executive Board, or the General Body as a whole.
THE PAIN AND DREAM OF AN IDEALIST Jeevan, MSW 1st Year As a student of Tata Institute of Social Sciences where lofty ideals, values, philosophies and ethics are preached during the classes and thought provoking discussions occur, I was expecting a lot from the TISS Student’s Union Elections. After going through the rules and regulations of the elections that stipulated strict financial caps on campaigning and seeing the professional conduct of the Returning Officers I had hoped that the elections would reflect the discussions that take place in theclassrooms - discussions that also include how politics should be run in the country. After serious thinking on the lines of merit, activities done and the personal qualities and values of a candidate I became his proponent for a certain post. However with each passing day since then till today two days after results I am yet to come terms with the harsh reality: the reality that even elections in this prestigious institute are a mirror reflection of the outside world; the reality that issues other than the agenda, personality and merit of the candidate determine the candidate’s eventual success in election; the reality that some candidate’s choice of post and even decision to contest are ultimately not decided by him but by a larger body without whom his success in the election is unsure. It was painful to see otherwise rationale people becoming prey to the politics of identity and eventually voting a candidate solely on the basis of whether they belonged to the same identity or not. It was highly disturbing to see a candidate justifying politics of identity eloquently using sophisticated academic knowledge. It’s true that identity does not dissolve when one comes to TISS. They ought to be respected and the differences between them celebrated. But it’s bemusing that at TISS they are used to mobilize people at the time of elections and once identity and politics are mixed we have a lethal combination. This is evident from the larger political arena in the world’s largest democracy where all major parties create their own identities be it the Shiv Sena’s cause for the Marathi Manoos, the BJP’s Hindutva, or the DMK’s once prominent but now subdued regionalism- where they had insisted for a separate Dravida Naadu( A homeland for the Dravidians). The polarization in the campus was so depressing during the election campaign. The divisions that were simmering and building up under the surface came out in the open. Based on the identity of caste, a considerable number of people decided whom to campaign for and who should be targeted. The team working for my candidate decided that come what may we will not indulge in such politics and stick to politics based on agenda. Considerable hours where spent on drafting a deliverable manifesto. People were approached on these issues and it was heartening to see that few took them seriously but those people blinded by their identities never bothered to see the merits. Worse few even targeted him personally in a malicious campaign trying to make him a scapegoat for a collective decision taken by a student run body against which he had personally expressed his protest and this was one of the many forms of anti-campaigning that took place.
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The deep –rooted division in the campus came out openly in the ugly incident one day before the elections. A bold group of students anguished by the petty politics in the institute put up posters outside the campus with the prior permission of the Returning Officers urging the voters to exercise their franchise through an informed decision and not on the basis of any identity. They expressed their protest imaginatively through the attractive slogan- “Cast your Vote; don’t vote for a caste”. However, the schism was so deep that some Social Workers in the Making from TISS interpreted it as a deep insult and viciously tore off the posters and filed complaints to the R.Os about the posters and slogans wrote by the students against casteism and regionalism A courageous attempt to question the structures in the campus expectedly evoked a strong response. Such a polarized atmosphere had a decisive impact during the elections .Identity politics won decisively while politics based on agenda lost comprehensively. The vicious atmosphere was expressed in no uncertain terms by a supporter of such politics who said, “Hum Casteist hai; Hum Jeete hai” My vision of TISS as an institute where people make sincere efforts to overcome their prejudices and try to become individuals driven by decisions with more rationale in it and not by narrow agendas have been shattered into pieces. The student’s union posts should be occupied by people from diverse identities but those identities should not be basis on which he or she mobilizes support. I am expressing my anguish against such type of politics. By not doing so I fear I would be contributing to the culture of Silence. It’s high time that the students at TISS acknowledge this realitythe reality that there are deep divisions in the campus .These divisions are getting reinforced with each passing year in the elections and are not healthy for the campus life. Some headstrong people interpret it in terms of Marxism and other ideologies seeing it as a means of political empowerment and refusing to accept the fact that the Marginalized communities through this process are marginalizing others: a classic case of the oppressor becoming the oppressed with the twist that in TISS, the communities categorized as not marginalized are not the oppressor. It is true that some of those people also have their own prejudices with which they come to the Institute and would rightly be facing serious punishments if they indulge in discrimination. But their process of unlearning is seriously hampered by a vicious atmosphere in the campus- an atmosphere where objective criticism of Mr. M.K Gandhi is easily possible but that of Mr. B. R .Ambedkar can be done only after serious consideration. Such an atmosphere only perpetuates the divide. It requires bold vision and courage from people on both the sides of the divisions to bridge this divide. This is my dream. Whether this dream is idealist or not depends on the choices we make as a collective group in the coming years, the primary being whether to take the easy way out by living in a state of denial or by acknowledging this reality and tackling it. If we take the first choice we might see that the henceforth not so organized group in the campus becoming more organized and capturing power in the elections in the years to come only to be displaced by the current dominant group after some time. This self-sustaining cycle besides leading to intense conflict beyond elections will not create constructive politics in the campus but a disruptive and antagonistic one with serious consequences. I hope and pray that the TISSians do not take the easy way out.
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TISS Student’s Union Elections 2010-11- A Review Shray Mehta, Developmental Studies 1st Year The nomination for the 2010-11 Student’s Union election at TISS saw participation from a variety of academic, social and economic backgrounds. The candidature for the seven positions of the EB was contested by students from across courses not without some exceptions though. The candidate addressal before the election brought out this heterogeneity of ideas, agendas and issues. Fierce questioning by the general body reflected the attitude of political deliberation on campus, a necessary requisite for the development and sustenance of a healthy democracy. One of the important students’ concerns, that came through during the questioning session, was on the perceived difference that lies between on campus issues (differential access to facilities in the old and new campus, inter campus mobility, participation of women in sports, financial aid, etc ) and off campus issues (affirmative action, position of marginalized sections and their access to resources in the society,etc) and the stand of the various candidates on these. The distinction between ‘on’ and ‘off’ campus issues, which further led to the distinction between the ‘neutral’ and the ‘political’ stand, was formed on the following grounds. The ‘neutral’ stand suggested that the arena of student politics in TISS should be limited to the immediate issues and problems faced by the students during their association with TISS. This stand suffers from a myopic view of the society and negates the social and historical nature of our existence. It assumes a universal and homogeneous identity called as ‘TISSians’ where one’s gender, caste, class and socio political affiliations become inconsequential. The ‘political’ view on the other hand suggested that these identities continue to matter even during one’s academic stay at TISS. This brings up for consideration the definition of ‘student’s politics’ and the role it can play in an institution of the standing as that of TISS. The social sciences, and the general academic, world keeps into consideration the stands that TISS takes on various social and political fronts. In view of this, i believe, that it is of utmost importance that the students politics on campus be more informed and considerate of social realities while formulating it’s stands on the issues on campus. Further, considering the possibility that students after passing out of TISS will engage in politics at various levels it is necessary that the campus political experience makes them aware of the larger social issues. An articulation on the lines of the above mentioned differences led to an open appeal by supporters of the ‘neutral’ stance to request the voters and candidates to refrain from ‘politicizing’ the campus. In itself while there was nothing inappropriate with the articulation of this or any other opinion. The timing, however, was objectionable. The Code of Conduct enforced by the Returning Officers, a day before the elections, debars any activities which could influence the decisions or opinions of the voters. This called for a disciplinary action which put an unpleasant end to an otherwise healthy and amiable campaigning period. This opinion was re-articulated later in the aftermath of the elections. An opinion put forward by a group of students suggested that there was mobilization of vote banks on the lines of caste and gender. A look at the election results however reveals that voting for a candidate was not restricted to a particular group. The general body participated in large numbers with a healthy 60% voter turn-out.
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Further, the margin of winning candidates was reflective of a varied participation and support that could not have been possible only on the lines of caste or gender. This is not to deny that opinions ‘were’ mobilized on different lines during the elections and votes were cast on differences in opinions. These differences however were based on different understandings of the idea of social justice. One side of the argument refused to recognize the social context of the candidates and believed that the emphasis of the candidates should be on immediate concerns. The other side suggested that along with immediate concerns, on needs to recognize that candidates and students are social entities and need to be treated as such and that this also should form a part of students concerns. Most of the candidates belonging to the latter category were able to convince the GB about their ability to represent students’ concerns better and hence were able to win their confidence and votes. This cannot be trivialized just as caste or gender based mobilization. Inclusive politics requires the recognition of heterogeneity in the experiences of various identities and creating an environment conducive for representation of these social needs along with representing students concerns effectively. The election result spoke in support of this idea of social justice along with the capability and the potential of the elected representatives to serve student’s interests. Here one also needs to mention the allegations that were made against the Cell (for SC, ST, OBC and PWD students) which is a statutory body. The Cell is not a political body and has stayed so during the elections. Detractors of progressive politics on campus, while making allegations, tried to point fingers at this body too and doubted its neutral stand. In this context, one is reminded of an argument discussed during the General Body Deliberations of the CRC which was regarding the reactions that the people would have in case some seats were to be reserved in the EB for the disadvantaged groups. One opinion was that there should not be any reservations as all the earnest steps taken by the people in the EB occupying reserved seats would invariably be seen as prejudiced. The allegations against the Cell are of the same nature. The contestants, who also happen to be members of the Cell by default, were targeted and criticized for apparently having summoned the support of the Cell. The victory of these candidates is the victory of progressive politics on campus and needs to be carried forward with full force. Having said that, the student body also needs to extend the idea of inclusion to other sections on campus and pro actively work with long standing issues like the inclusion of research scholars into the Union. Further, the nominal representation of women in the present (and last year’s EB) is reflective of the larger absence of women in social spheres like politics, sports etc on the campus. We as the TISS community need to create an atmosphere of political deliberations whereby women’s presence and meaningful participation is on equitable terms.
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Ms. Achala Gupta MSW 1st Year
Interdisciplinary Action For Better Implementation
ABSTRACT The change in dark can only be seen when there is the lamp in my house; we all take the excuse from the future that the new has not yet born! Over the period of time, concepts change so do theories, and then the practice of that theory. This new era is becoming more and more transparent, for this success the award goes to the interdisciplinary actions against the problems. And so in this way NGO media, journalism partnership is needed for several reasons. This article is an attempt to set out a perspective that will critically analyse the whole gambit of NGOs, its role in the development of the human lives. INTRODUCTION NGOs are generally defined as autonomous nonprofit and non-party/politically-unaffiliated organizations that advance a particular cause or set of causes in the public interest. The rangeof causes on which an NGO can focus is unlimited, but a cardinal principle is that NGOs operate in a manner consistent with the objectives for which they receive funds. Donations are an NGO’s lifeline because they are independent organizations. Funding can come from governments, private trusts and philanthropies, individual donations, religious institutions, and, in many cases, other NGOs.
Through the amalgamation of the two heads of its own kind the people will get the main benefit, and these types of models can also be practiced by the local mass, more than that the problems of the mass, which the people consider their fate can be made into the favour of oppressed one which eventually reduces the gap between human being, in the countries where embellished cloth covers the facts and hard reality of the human lives.
NGOs can contribute to democracy through challenging governments and promoting social interests, but they themselves do not carry democratic accountability especially when decisions are taken by the elite class on behalf of substantially marginalised section of society. Meanwhile, criticism of human rights NGO is often dismissed as an attack on the values of human rights themselves, ex. Recently found the death question of 26 kids in an NGO for mentally challenged.
THE GROWING INFLUENCE OF NGOs: In recent years, thousands of “non-governmental organizations” (NGOs) have been formed with the goal of influencing policy decisions and shaping global political perspectives on issues ranging from humanitarian law to protecting the environment. Human right NGOs have become the most powerful and well-funded members of this large community. Through relentless campaigning, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Ford Foundation, alongside thousands of much smaller organizations, have succeeded in gaining immense power in placing human rights issues - as they interpret them - high on governmental agendas.
In the minds of the common mass, the NGO is the sector of high importance, in the sense that it is the helping hand for the people in need obviously, so do the media in case of any information that needs to be known by the people in the larger context. Its power can be understood if something happens in one part of the world the reactions can be seen from the faraway places.
The UN and related international organizations, governments, the international media, and the academic community consult daily with NGOs with a view to incorporating their reports into policy. Amnesty’s campaign for Soviet prisoners of conscience was so influential that President Gorbachev invited representatives from Amnesty to visit Moscow to discuss reforming the Soviet Union. U n m a a d ‘ 10
THE IDEA OF NGO MEDIA PARTNERSHIPS: 1. For the NGOs working in the same sectors must come together so that the effective plans can be implemented, as the NGO working for kids, can work with other NGO caters the need of youth and their rehabilitation and so on. 2. Any problem in this world cannot occur and grows in isolation. So the holistic approach to the problem would in fact help the individual to be empowered 3. Another facet of importance is that of expansion of the roles, by NGOs. The related issues on which NGO is working cannot be ignored, because the problem never exits in isolation. For instance, one person’s headache can be cured by a tablet, but for the time being the cause of that headache is there, the tablet can never be the empowering solution of the problem. ENSURING ACCOUNTABILITY OF NGOs THROUGH MEDIA PARTICIPATION: The problem of not fulfilling the aim can be expected to grow unless the accountability demanded from NGOs is increased significantly, including closer scrutiny by the press and by funding organizations. These NGOs’ supposedly non-political nature and adherence to “universal human rights principles” have bequeathed them a “halo effect” against criticism and scrutiny. It is for this reason that their success in setting the global agenda has been so powerful. Unchecked authority has allowed several groups to blur the distinction between advancing universal human rights and promoting narrow ideological and political causes. The combination of perceived impartiality, their grassroots nature, and noble aims have granted NGOs immense moral authority. As a result, the need for independent external examination of humanitarian NGOs has become apparent, especially given their inherent absence of democratic accountability and the lack of capacity in funding organizations to monitor and evaluate the activities they support. Initiatives such as NGO Monitor can provide the foundation necessary in order to strengthen transparency, accountability, and moral balance.
In all the nations there are three sets of NGOs, 1. First are those highly famed organisations who have some vision in their minds, and help the “ third and fourth world nations” to improve their status. And in most of the cases the local issues and the causes are never sorted out but the symptoms are corrected. 2. NGOs who work at national level and these are the one try to launch the schemes of their goals and aims, not necessary to the geographical, cultural difference, especially in the nation like India where the diversity is huge and likeliness is the minimum. 3. The third is the grass root level NGOs, most of them are formed by the frustration of an individual against her violation of rights, and most of the times these actually self driven NGOs fall in the pocket of village level politicians and people who advocates the development. CONCLUSION: NGOs are the human medical box, which is expected to have different tools for different problems. But I believe, before starting with all the aspects of development one need to really rationalise what the development is, at first place. Every nation in this world has significance of its own, the working pattern of NGO must be participatory and democratic which not only empowers the beneficiaries to know their rights, but also give space to practice what is being taught.
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Dr. K. Mukherjee Associate Professor School of Health System Studies
Used to horizontal steps, a few dozen vertical steps clearly brought a drastic change in thinking, thanks to my audible heart beat and funny moans on the knee! Halting to catch my breadth, I could not help feel the beauty around me. Come monsoon and there is a sudden burst of trekking activity. No wonder then, when our like minded office colleagues sharing a similar taste of adventure and danger decided to target Raigad Fort. Getting up early has always been my weak spot and this trek required us to depart at 4.30 a.m. This called for some serious strategic planning and as a result of that I went to bed surrounded by electronic gadgets (mobile and alarm clocks) located and set at strategic distances and time. This planning paid rich dividends and I found myself at the place of departure at 4.30 a.m. Unfortunately the 4 wheeled instrument of transport did not appear in site till over an hour of wait. It was quite obvious that the driver had done no strategic planning. As the bus hit the highway 90 minutes behind schedule our sleepy minds had already forgotten the delay and we all looked forward to an exciting trip ahead. As the bus sped through the rain we could only stare in wonder and awe at the beauty mother nature unfolded to us with every passing mile. Having stopped for breakfast and tea we reached the foothills of Raigad fort by midday. Quickly changing into trekking gear we put our first step towards the steep climb with full vigour and enthusiasm. Unlike my previous trek (to Lohagad fort), the path to Raigad fort is made up of steps, which made the climb easier; or so I thought. Used to horizontal steps, a few dozen vertical steps clearly brought a drastic change in thinking, thanks to my audible heart beat and funny moans on the knee! Halting to catch my breadth, I could not help feel the beauty around me. The lush green mountainside with numerous waterfalls was a sight to behold and as I focused on my feelings, I found myself more in control of my breath. Slowly I started my climb. The view only got better with the climb and halfway through there was the luxury of a massage, courtesy: a waterfall. Rejuvenated with energy, zeal and enthusiasm our team finally reached the summit after almost 2 1/2 hours of climb. The smiles on everyone’s face on reaching the top said it all. The youngest to the oldest member of the team all drank in their successful climb among sips of tea and walking among the clouds. Having savoured the moment and etched it eternally in the memories of our mind, we began descent, to have food and return back home. On the long road journey back, I thought the climb gave a significant message about life. In life, we all have hurdles to cross and mountains to climb. The process of success in life is very similar to the process employed to reach the summit of a mountain. We have to be mindful of every step we take, lest we slip and fall. We have to be totally focused in the present moment with full concentration. One cannot have past thoughts or future concerns overwhelm us. We have to be consciously aware of our body and pay heed to the signals they provide so that they help space our journey appropriately. We all did this to varying degrees and at varying levels of consciousness and hence we all reached the summit of the mountain. These simple steps will enable the beauty of life to unfold before us, the same way mother nature unfolded her beauty to us during the climb. Nature’s intelligence functions with effortless ease …with carefreeness, harmony and love. And when we harness the forces of harmony, joy and love, we create success and good fortune with effortless ease. U n m a a d ‘ 10
The Riot-Control Vehicle I studied a bit about mechanical objects at a stage in my life. Automobiles were one of them. So whenever I see a different vehicle, I kind of observe it. I am not very good at identifying the nuances of the functional peculiarities but I do understand a bit of the things that even the blind can see, as they sometimes put up pretty rudely in Hindi! I live in Baroda, a city that was struck by communal violence a few years back. And the area where I live is just a stone’s throw away from the ‘epicenter’. I didn’t know that I’d use the term for anything except the quakes. Whenever I return from a refreshing session of table tennis early morning or from a late night meeting with friends, I prefer to take the other route which comes through a place called ‘Pani Gate’. Now this is the spot that became friends with burning tires and shattered pieces of broken glass for quite some time. Even today, on that very monument sort of structure, somewhere amidst the spit marks of red beetle juice -the favorite graffiti of the tobacco addict- I see black patches reminding me of the color of destruction and inhuman atrocities. Sometimes, during my ‘staring-at-the-walls’ moments, I think about the wall-less, but ‘bollywoodish’ child that must have grown up watching all this real life action. I think about the vehicles that he would have graduated to. He must have started with a cradle; obviously not the one with eye-catching toys made of PVC fighting for space over a multicolored iron bar but the cradle actually being a swing, tied between two bamboo sticks or between other things the poor can discover for amusing their children. By the way, if you don’t consider the cradle a vehicle, you would never find the chauffeur so nice to you in your entire lifetime! I don’t think he would’ve had good times watching other vehicles. I mean, what would’ve he learnt from old bicycles with twisted paddles or from hand-driven Lorries or from overcrowded auto rickshaws running on ‘personally clinically treated’ fuel or from all sort of awkward vehicles carrying things that doesn’t interest him??
But like every bollywoodish kid, he must’ve been an action movie fan. He’d be loving those police vans which would come every once in a while, wake everyone up on the street with the screeching sound of their tires and red revolving light on the top and take all the bad men away in rusty shackles. I’m not really fond of violence, but somehow, it fascinates me. And so whenever I return from a refreshing session of table tennis or from a late night meting with friends, I feel very close to that kid. I feel like that curious kid every time I spot that ‘Riot-Control Vehicle’ at Pani Gate. The only major difference between a police van and that Riot Control Vehicle is the color. It is colored silver. Quite a strange choice to fight the ‘black’, isn’t it?? I hope it always manages to calm down the ‘saffron’ and the ‘green’ as well. And I hope that it doesn’t favor one of them either. Well, when that kid would’ve seen a grill all around the windows on that moving giant, he must’ve thought- why had the maker put small little holes on those grills? And like the way I learn things by observing, he would have found that gun barrels come out of them occasionally when all the good people he knows in the neighborhood and elsewhere, go crazy. And when the ‘silver’ strikes gold, a few of the crazy people go crazier and then finally die. The cops behind the grills listen to something on their heavy, black colored telephones, utter a few bad words, pray to their respective Gods and then either fire a few bullets or drive away uttering some more bad words. Not that they are bad people either.
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I liked watching special purpose vehicles in the kind of Hollywood movies I used to watch earlier. I wish that the purpose for the vehicle that I am talking about didn’t exist. But there’s something that I would like to mention. One of my good friends told me that thing when I said that there shouldn’t be weapons and wars on earth. He said, “Some of the things were here when man took this planet. They will always be.” When I started noticing vehicles, I had a wish- a wish to own an SUV which would suffice my love for being adventurous at times. A few years later I realized that, like all the fat people in the world, it drinks too much and runs millimeters. So, I changed my mind and started thinking about a vehicle that wouldn’t murder my mother earth much and would suffice that love. I haven’t found any that fascinated me the same way. A few of them still catch my senses and give me something to think about during my ‘staring-at-the-wall’ moments. I still have a corner for the SUV’s. But now I drop my lower jaw only when I see something like the government’s RCV. The RIOT CONTROL VEHICLE. The other route to my house has become a regular one. It keeps the curious kid inside me alive. Very alive. //
Archana N.K MSW 1st Year
To The Reservoir
We seemed to have gone back in time, waaaaaaaay back in time. I half expected a dinosaur’s head to appear amongst the topmost boulders to confirm the sudden advent of the stone age this hot saturday morning. I just gazed feeling rather antlike. A much awaited impluse saw the six of us hop onto the localest of local buses. The back breaking, neck twisting variety that is. We didnt care. I for one, liked it this way. There was so much to see. Take the couple next to us. “Bacche sab hai kya?” said the mother to the father. Six kids were already stuffed in the tiny air pockets between seat number 34, 35 and 36. The mother presently wheeled around to be sure because the ticket collector was swaying towards us, leather bag whacking every alternate aisle seated person. Three more were screeching two seats away. I doubt Mr. and Mrs. Faizullah would have noticed an obvious drop in numbers( i have a habit of bestowing names upon people by virtue of their looking like a name, these were clearly Faizullahs, there was no mistake) they seemed exhausted and fell instantly asleep, the kids entertained themselves at the expense of my local bus slumber. Bump, bump, bump, off went the lights and Kerouac’s account of New Orleans. Tull took over with his reasons for waiting. We stopped near an optical illusion water tank. I spent the whole stop being fascinated, we thus began the Hampi way of life. I almost broke my neck by Hospet but here we were.
Finally. Nips, Tang and Cynthia decided to dress up for the occasion so Mr. Malepoo made ‘good early morning business’ and smiled cheshirecatish till he was out of view. Teacoffeejuice centre restored us. Two auto guys insisted on taking the lot of us to ‘Happy Hampi’. Sure if you put it that-a-way. Off we went whizzing past Shimoga memories that abruptly dissolved when the magnificent rock formations came into view. It was unimaginable that life existed beyond those gigantic boulders let alone a rich kingdom that flourished most part of the 15th century. We seemed to have gone back in time, waaaaaaaay back in time. I half expected a dinosaur’s head to appear amongst the topmost boulders to confirm the sudden advent of the stone age this hot saturday morning. I just gazed feeling rather antlike. Ruins begain to slowly reveal themselves, in tiny arches at first and in pillars and larger structures a little later on. Just as we turned a corner, a huge gateway, temple and Ganesha statue. Eyes widened. ‘Happy Hampi’ had arrived! Virupaksha temple’s bovine devotees, peacock feather-laden babas smiling at you broadly saying “photo?”, hustle bustle bazaar morning, the sound of faith, the smell of rituals, kumkum and teertham, the sweet aftertaste of disconnecting from everything that was before now. U n m a a d ‘ 10
I breathed in every little detail and drifted into my own world of magnified sensations. Hot bajis, shanti bakery’s pscyhedelia flavoured pancakes, pachyderm’s soapy firang-given bath, minty mint tea :) snake charmer soundtrack, tumble down to five rupee boat ride. On the other side we found suitable huts at Gopi’s and spiraled into oblivion. Few hours later we decided to explore. “To the reservoir!!” screamed nips out of the blue, pointing towards some general direction with her Dharmasthala flute! Fair enough. Super xls were sourced. I went crazy on the road where the reservoir water almost touches your shoulder reassuringly on one side and the steep drop watches you menacingly on the other. The magnetic blue curls around every turn henceforth. There seemed to be not a soul in the world but me and that blue, i felt this inexplicable urge to ride into and sink happily into eternity. Sounds rather suicidal but it was a wonderful feeling. We just rode and rode and rode. There were tiny inhabited spaces here and there with the usual bunch of eight boys and two girls who run behind your bike expecting school pens or money, but mostly it was those fascinating hypnotic rock formations that i couldnt take my eyes off. Time didnt just stop here, it took you back few eras and paused. At Pampa sarovar i felt like taking off my footwear and taking a stroll on the lotus leaves. We then decided to climb five hundred and something steps. We huffed and puffed after 342 but the geriatric lot amidst us effortlessly walked up. Respect. The huffing and puffing was worth the view. Hampi now became a puzzle i could take apart any given second. Paddy field pieces here, rock pieces there and i could start over and create something new.
Pita with humus was our staple diet owing to the excessive Israeli inhabitation in these parts. All the shacks have beddings all over the place and you can just gaze at paddy fields, sip on hot beer and fall asleep. Nightfall brings you shooting stars and fireflies. Its magical. Bloody magical. A whole field of fireflies dancing to tunes, be it a flute solo, flamenco or marley. One afternoon we spent surveying all that was left behind of the Vijaynagar dynasty. The hindu-islam mix architecture was rather queer but spellbinding nevertheless. The sisters and i spent a lot of time at Vittala temple. At three seperate corners we listened closely to see if our ancestors had something to say. There was a strange feeling of nostalgia somehow. Or i have an active imagination. Every site i could imagine bustling with life. At this spot a temple dancer in a parrot green pattu cheera practising her steps before she gave her daily performance, over there two fat courtiers chewing areca nuts engaged in an animated conversation about state affairs, an elephant’s trumpet in the distance to announce the king’s arrival. We had to be back at the river bank before six. Fireflies and shooting stars awaited me in the real world. So surreal everything was. I needed more time, i was getting rather addicted to this way of living. Caught in some strange time zone far from anything remotely familiar. Magical fairytale like experiences needed to be postponed a while longer but reality is such a persistent annoying gigantic mosquito that buzzes incessantly in your ears and however much you try to smash it, anticipating the sheer joy of those scattered limbs in your palms, you JUST CANNOT. Sigh. I know where i am going back next time the escapist in me sounds the monthly alarm.
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Koyel Globalization and Labour, 2nd Year
He was late, even by his standards. I was one of three patrons, each sitting at a round mahogany table, watching people outside. It is not easy being an observer when all the walls are made of glass. Taposhda had called me to a coffee shop in the middle of nowhere. “Hullo, Sandip, how are you. There is an atrocious structure that has come up in-. Come there at three, we shall mock it together.” That was his style; abrupt, unexpected and assured. I was surprised to hear from him after so long. The last I had seen of him was in college, an eccentric senior given to sporadic flashes of brilliance. We were in the same department, but it wasn’t until the last term of his final year that we spoke. He came up to me in the library, put his feet up on a chair and asked me what I thought of Godot. “It defines my life, you know,” he said, not waiting for a reply. “Come to the window, I want to smoke.” I had complied, because he clearly expected me to. From Godot, he went on to air his opinions on television, street lights and public transport. “Oh, I’m out of smokes. See you around, I’m Taposh.” That was it. He left as abruptly as he had entered, and from that day on, he seemed to lay a sort of claim on me. It wasn’t exactly a friendship; it was more of a symbiotic relationship that we had. He liked bouncing ideas off me, he said, because I was such a good listener. On my part, I liked him and the shape my thoughts took after every session with him. Taposhda graduated with top honours and disappeared off the scene. Some said he had gone off to study theatre in London, others claimed he was on a tour of the country. I would get an occasional cryptic message from him, on my phone or sometimes via email. ‘I am looking for my Mountain of the Moon,’ said one. ‘What do you think of education? Does it make sense to get another degree?’ asked another. In a few years, even those messages stopped. There was no way of getting in touch with him, wherever he was, he evidently did not have a phone of his own, nor did he ever reply to an email. I finished my graduation, and then my post-graduation ,and Taposhda faded to a memory.
Imagine my surprise, then, when my phone beeped that day and I read his message. Typically of him, it was unsigned. However, as nobody else called me Sandip (with good reason, for Sandip was not my name), I knew at once it was him. I debated my reply, for I was at the other end of nowhere, and with a disposable income that vanished sooner than I could make it meet my ends. It was Taposhda, however, and I hadn’t seen him in four years. So there I was, sitting in a glass house, drinking filter coffee and waiting for him to arrive. He was late, even by his standards. I was one of three patrons, each sitting at a round mahogany table, watching people outside. It is not easy being an observer when all the walls are made of glass. For every person I fixed my eyes on, three others turned to look at me. I was surprised at how crowded it was. Each plane of the hexagonal structure was obscured by the people who constantly moved to and fro outside of it. Growing slightly claustrophobic, I decided to train my eyes on the ceiling, also made of glass but thankfully free of motion. It didn’t really help; I felt those eyes continue to bore into me. The staff seemed impervious to the heightened visibility. They were all impeccably dressed and courteous to the point of being obsequious. One of them now came towards me with my sixth coffee in an exquisite cup made of bone china. I looked at it nervously as he lowered it off the tray onto the table. Do you have anything that is less easy to break, I wanted to ask, but he smiled, said enjoy your coffee and gracefully walked away. Rather on the edge, because of the eyes, Taposhda and all that caffeine in me, I jerked the coffee clumsily, and nearly dropped the saucer. For no reason that I could fathom, my cheeks grew hot and I surreptitiously looked around to see if my awkwardness had been spotted.
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The waiters were at their stations, polishing other elegant cups, and my fellow coffee drinkers did not look my way. I was about to sigh with relief when my eyes shot to the wall on my right. A little girl with straggly brown hair stood grinning, her feet apart and her hands on her waist. I recognised her; she had offered to sell me a pen with a torch, ten rupees only!, as I came in. “Sandip!” came a voice, just as I was about to push back my chair and leave that horrible place. It was Taposhda, and four years or not, I was furious with him. “What kind of a place is this? “I began. “I know! Delightful, isn’t it?” He chuckled as he slid into a chair and looked expectantly at me. I looked at him incredulously, and pointedly shifted my coat to my other arm. “You’re wearing woollens? Is it winter? No wonder my feet feel cold!” We both looked at his feet. Taposhda was wearing a dhoti in peak winter. I laughed and sat down again. It was Taposhda, what did one expect? “Are you having that coffee? Thanks, I don’t mind one.” He pulled out a biscuit from the pocket of his shirt and looked at me. His smile was warm, and as I watched him drink from that exquisite cup, I ran my eyes over him. He looked much older than when I last saw him and I told him so. “Wiser, too, do you think?” He asked, and pulled out a pipe. “This is how I burn my tobacco now. Much more aesthetic, don’t you think?” “I like the concept of a pipe, more than the execution of the concept,” I said. “True, true,” he nodded absently, as he held it between his teeth. We sat in silence for a while. I was never much of a talker, and Taposhda seemed busy admiring his smoke rings. Suddenly he sat up. “Three hundred people died yesterday.” He said, and lapsed back into a brief silence. “If a bomb went off right now, what do you think will happen?” he asked. “What kind of an answer are you looking for?” I returned. “I don’t know!” He cried. This was an unfamiliar Taposhda. The one of old never said I don’t know, and never looked anxious or uncertain. “What have you been doing?” he asked abruptly, in a customary way, jumping from one topic to another.
“Playing.” I replied. “Still trying to make sense of my education. Working a job, as I wait for my eureka moment.” “Ah. I never did get another degree, you know. My papers will always say-Taposh. B.A. (Honours) only. Traveller.” “That’s exactly what I am. That is all that I am.” He said this with some violence. “After my graduation, I decided I needed the bigger picture, and hopped onto a train. I’ve been everywhere since then, but what sense have I made of anything? I can’t seem to get off that train. What use am I?” “Sandip, if a bomb were to go off right this minute, if six bombs were to go off right this minute, can you imagine what will happen? The blast will take place outside. We will see the flames, we will see the dead, and because it has all happened before, we will go on drinking coffee. We will crook our fingers around the stems of these ridiculous cups and make ridiculous small talk. We will occasionally glance outside, casual eyes will move from one writhing figure to another. And then we will look at our coffee and discuss its origin. Or perhaps we will push back our chairs in fright and run outside to help. We will ferry a few bloodied men and women to hospitals, but in effect we go on drinking our coffee. This ridiculous glass house, my dear Sandip, is an exaggeration of many things. You and I, we are on the inside.” I scratched my head. On my right, the girl with the straggly hair was back. She stuck her tongue out at me and gave me the finger. My jaw dropped open. Taposh jumped up and my eyes swivelled back to him. I have to go pee, he said, and disappeared. That was the last I saw of him. Two days later, I received a short note. Sorry, I forgot I left you waiting, it said. I ran into Collector Cama on the way, and he had something new for me. I am not a bleeding heart liberal. What do you think of Godot? What did I think of Godot? I wasn’t sure now, and I wasn’t sure all those years back either, whether he wanted my thoughts on the play or the character. It didn’t matter, because we were never to continue that conversation. Some months later, my door bell rang. I was in the middle of a project, and let it ring a second time before I went to answer it. It was the postman. U n m a a d ‘ 10
“I have a package for Sandip, Madam. D 4/63.” I stared at him. Taposhda again. “That would be for me,” I said. “But Madam, it says Sandip...” “Yes, the person who sent it is mad.” The postman remained suspicious, but there was little he could do; the addresses matched, even if the gender didn’t. I took the parcel and felt for its contents. This was a little out of our usual method of communication. Or rather, his method of reaching me. There was a note inside, and an old diary I recognized from his college days. My Dear Sandip, If you are reading this, it means I have succumbed to the foolish thought of finishing our conversations through a letter. It doesn’t matter that this is not the library, or even that hideous coffee shop; our pattern remains the same. I talk, I ramble, and you listen. I leave every such conversation with a new idea in my head, my jumbled thoughts organising into some form of coherence. I am not going to thank you for that, I am sure my august company must have more than compensated for any hardships thus endured. This is my diary. Oh, that sentence was a joke, by the way. I have many diaries, but this one will best serve our purpose. Read it, if you will. I found my Mountain of the Moon. Taposh P.S.- I withdraw my statement about the aesthetic appeal of the pipe. Nothing beats the raw beauty of a beedi.
Taposh was right, beyond a point, we just go on drinking our coffee. And now, instinct told me, Taposh was dead. It is hard to substantiate the certainty I felt. I had no occasion to believe that the brilliant, if eccentric, student would take to arms to express his reaction to the circumstances that existed around him. I try to imagine what it must have been like. Someone would have kept a gun in front of him. A toy gun, that merely asked a question. Would you use me to force away a world that is clawing away at everything you believe in? Taposh would pause, and remember all those places he had been to, an impotent traveller of ideas. He would come to a sudden decision, laugh, and edit his bio data to read- Taposh. B.A. (Honours). Violent traveller only. And then he would ask them what they thought of Godot. What plans would they have had for him? How did he feel when he first pulled the trigger? Why did he have his diary sent to me? I couldn’t bring myself to read it, not as yet. I kept trying to reconcile the dhoti-clad, curly haired young man who had aged in the four years since he left college, to the nameless five who were squeezed in between articles on the Ambani brothers and Bt Brinjal. Unbidden, my thoughts turned to that little girl who sold pens and looked into glass houses to give coffee drinkers the finger. They were both outsiders, even though Taposh was, by default, inside.
In the brief moment before his death, did he feel he had finally got off the train? Would that little girl I re-opened the newspaper before I opened his diary. give him the finger too? One of the first few pages had a small article about five dead Naxals. The reporter did not name them; by Slowly I reached for the notebook, and turning to now nobody cared to know. the first page, I began to read.//
U n m a a d ‘ 10
Souvik Mazumdar HRM & LR, 1st Year
The Butterflies Of Our Times “And when all wars are done a butterfly will still be beautiful And when all buildings are razed the sky will still be blue And when all smiles are killed the wind will still blow And when everybody is dead, my words.......” Dear Diary, I fall short of words again. You know what’s funny; this seems to have become a regular feature ... and I call myself a poet. I do nothing but propagate clichés’ with banal rhetoric. I am tired. Today Athiya finally reached Lahore. I am so relieved. She is such a delicate soul. Why would anybody want to harm her. She has nothing to do with the madness that is brewing around around her. She is so far away from these base figments of the so called “real” life. ‘Her eyes are actually small, but big enough Big enough to see yourself in them Her eyes ask you questions Questions to which you have no answers Answers which stir your inner playful self Your inner playful self which........’ Damn!!! I can’t do it no matter how hard I try. I guess free verse is not my cup of tea. That reminds me; today while i was escorting Athiya to the railway station; she asked me a very poignant question. “Abhay, are you sure that Lahore will be safe for me?” she asked. “Yes, that’s where all your relatives are. There are so many people to take care of you there.” I said. “But they will call me a Kafir there. I am not a Kafir. I believe in the message of Allah with my whole heart!” she said quite vehemently. “Yes, you do dear, but dont bother about what people say. Nowdays nobody knows what he/she is saying. There is chaos all around. You just need to hold on. Believe in yourself. The madness around you will try to pin you down at evry juncture of life. You just need to hang in there.” said I. Athiya gazed at the sky for a few seconds and then asked “Abhay where does this madness begin and where does it end?” I had no answer to this question of her’s. Where did the madness begin? I dont know ... maybe when a few people decided to come up witha two nation theory or maybe when it was concluded that Hinduism and Islam are actually two nations and not the manifestations of the same god. I guess this madness began when a few people decided that dividng two nations, dividing the hearts of people and dividing the sentiments of millions is as easy as constructing backyard fences. Where did this madness begin? Athiya herself dosen’t know how silly and yet how profound her question is. And yes, where does it end? I have no answers for that too. Ten years ago when I had joined the movement, I was a starry eyed 19 year old who believed that freedom was a birth right. I had a dream ... a dream where I had my flag, my anthem, my people and my nation. U n m a a d ‘ 10
I had a dream ... a dream where my country would finally have its rightful place on tyhe world map. I had a dream of witnessing a sunset which would herald a new beginning in the history of my nation. I had a dream where the tri colour would be fluttering high up and we would finally be able to say “I am proud to be an Indian”. Yes, yes I know that all my dreams have been fulfilled. We are now free from colonial tyranny and racial oppression. We are a nation now. But..... “The blood, the carnage, the deaths, the tears Is this the dream I had seen The orphans, the widows, the homeless, the diseased Is this the dream I had seen The cries of mothers, the wails of children Is this the dream I had seen The hatred, the malice, the animosity, the chaos Is this the dream I had seen” Dreams die. Yes that is what i have learnt. Now I see my dream gradually decaying into a mass of meaningless illusions. Dreams change nothing ... poetry changes nothing. I change nothing. The wars will continue, the madness will never cease, chaos will always reign supreme and Athiya’s question will always remain unanswered. Athiya ... she is the last gleaming hope of my life. Thankfully she is in Lahore now and she is safe. Why i got attached to a 7 year old who had lost all her family ... I would never know. One night “strange men came and killed everybody” she loved. She escaped alive because she was hiding in the closet. She says i gave her a new lease of life ... I say she gave me hope. Hope to fight again, hope to believe again. Her innocence has become the fuel of my life. Today when I saw her off, she was waving her little hands from the windows the Lahore Jallandhar Express. She has made my will stronger. You know what ... I was wrong. Dreams don’t die. They just re invent themselves time and time again. freedom was the dream that we had seen. Now a prosperous India is the vision capturing our vision. This insanity will change nothing, because... “When a buliding is razed, it’s time to clear the rubble When a door is closed, it’s time to find a open one When a smile is wiped, it’s time to find new mirth When a leaf is plucked, it’s time to grow a new plant When a dream is shattered, it’s time to sleep again When a war is done, the butterfly still enchants” Athiya will always remain beautiful. Athiya Khan and her likes are the butterflies whose beauty surpasses and outlives all wars and all trgedies. We will come out of this nightmare as an empowered nation. A nation of thinkers, believers, lovers, philosophers, scientists .... a nation of people ... free intellectually empowered people. That’s my dream Athiya’s face is the harbinger of my dream. Yes I am relieved Athiya is safe. And I guess I can write poems after all. Abhay Mathur 15/10/1947 (On the 16th of October, 1947 a story appeared in “The Lahore Times” which said that the Lahore Jallandhar Express was attacked by rioting hooligans. They killed all the passengers and burnt the train.) U n m a a d ‘ 10
Ms. Rohini Shinde (Ex. MHA student) PhD Scholar, HSS, TISS
The Boy Who Sold The Bottles of Pickle
The train halted at the next station, Tilak Nagar. The two young boys barely in their early teens were trying to load a huge sack into the compartment. Finally they succeeded and before the train could start moving they made good and was in before time. First comes the visual and then comes the sound. The law of physics does apply here as well, when you are waiting at the platform number seven at Kurla station. I saw the train swaying its way in side the station and then heard the thudding sound of its horn making some brave-hearts to get off tracks. Slowly the train stopped and I got into it. The first class ladies compartment was empty. It was an odd time. I was travelling to my college for a lecture scheduled in the afternoon. I settled myself at the window and threw a glance outside with a relief that I could make for the lecture on time and most importantly I was happy to have the entire compartment for myself. I started looking around inside the compartment and tried to absorb, the vastness of the unlimited space provided by it, in me with a sigh of joy. Space is something; those who grew up in a city like Mumbai always crave for as it is like an elevated luxury for us. The train halted at the next station, Tilak Nagar. The two young boys barely in their early teens were trying to load a huge sack into the compartment. Finally they succeeded and before the train could start moving they made good and was in before time. Brave of them, I said to myself. They kept the sack safely at one corner and went back to their business of giggling, teasing each other, self- praising, exhibiting some gymnastic skills with the side rods etc. I was enjoying their talk and was also really impressed with their quick wittiness to outsmart each other. The two were of more or less of equal age and had similar kind of physical built. However one of them was little thinner than the other.
The thinner or the slim one turned towards me and asked, “Didi, see what this fellow is saying, don’t you think my jump was more higher?” “Its Okay, now you both stop doing all this masti and come and sit quietly over here” I replied looking at both of them. Wow! to my surprise they did exactly what I said. Now that was just a fleeting command. I did not expect that they would obey it. They came and sat on the seats opposite to me. “What do you do didi? The same little slim boy asked me the question. I am studying, I answered. “What do you study?” The other boy joined in. Well, this was a little difficult question to answer. “I go to college beta” I tried to be straight and simple. How was I going to explain them that I am doing MHA at TISS. At this point, the slim one leaned and whispered something to the other one, upon which they both started laughing. I interrupted them asking what happened? “ Nothing didi” replied the other boy “ Arre.. you both are laughing and having fun, do share with me as well….” I pleaded with a justification. “Nothing didi, this fellow keeps talking rubbish….” said the other boy. This boy was little quieter and clam. He displayed his sense of maturity by not revealing their senseless whispers and saving all of us from a likely embarrassment. “Al right… do not tell me then…” I declared this with a mock annoyance. “Actually didi ..” the slim boy acting brave started sharing, “ I was telling him that in college there are many girls and boys. They meet and become friends…. We see all these things in movies…”
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“ Ohh.. I see... it seems you people see lots of movie…right?...Okay tell me one thing do you both go to school??? Slowly I was getting involved in their talks or perhaps in their lives. I wanted to continue this talk. “…Yes, we do go …we both are in 7th grade….” answered the other boy. “…then why you didn’t go today?????” “…Ohhh didi… some days it is not possible for us to go school… we do work as well… we help in business….” The slim boy explained. “ What business ??? I was becoming kind of inquisitive. “…We help in selling bottles of pickle…this is our business…” the same boy replied. All this while, during our conversation, we didn’t realize when Chembur came and went. Nobody got in at Chembur. We were now travelling somewhere between Chembur and Govandi. I saw outside of the window, the same glimpse of little toddlers with their little older siblings playing along the railway tracks, caught my attention. I wanted to escape from that hard realities and come back to our conversation and which I did. “…What is there in that huge sack??? I asked pointing towards it. “…It has the bottles of pickles didi… as I said we help in selling these pickle bottles….” The slim one tried to satisfy my curiosity. “….Ohh yah…you did say so….” answer.
I accepted his
The other boy pulled the slim one towards him and murmured something to him. What was that murmur, I wondered? I wanted to know. The train was reaching the Govandi station.
I was supposed to stop the conversation and get up from my seat. I had gone curious and restless to know what exactly did he whispered to him. But there was no time, the training had already touched the platform and was slowing down. I came to the entrance, towards my left I saw the sack once again. I looked at it and again I looked back at the boys. The murmur between the two was still going on. I turned back and raising my voice a little higher, I asked firmly, “What is there inside this sack? The slim boy rose from his place and told… “Actually didi, the sack has the bottles of liquor…. which is our real business….. our elders prepare it and we supply it to the local shops….and perhaps this is our bottles of pickle …..” he said this with an unwavering voice. His eyes were up in the direction of the sky; perhaps the eyes wanted to get lost in its infinity or were dreaming to carve a space for themselves out from the spread out vastness of it? I got down without a reply to him. His answer made me feel uneasy. My mind was buzzing with all sorts of questions, possible explanation, prepositions, suppositions etc. In that state of mind, I climbed the bridge. Above from the bridge, I saw the train going away and away and disappearing in to the thickness of something white. What is there beyond that whiteness? I do not know, as my world lies at this side of it. They went in to their space I guessed; a restricted? limited? smaller? bigger space? I had no idea. However I strongly believed in the ability of those wavering eyes looking up towards a sky, to look beyond the abstract yet limited frame of space and to dream of craving an another world. //
U n m a a d ‘ 10
p Poetry Section p
U n m a a d ‘ 10
My Wishes Twas the night before Christmas, the music faint and far. I gazed through my thoughts at the twinkling, wishing star. In the fading light, I confide my wishes to the velvet sky, Praying fervently to make my wishes come true in a big way. I wish that people desires more friendship and togetherness, As everyone have the rights to a decent life and happiness. I wish that there is peace on earth instead of war, I wish they would use that money to feed the poor. I wish that there is honesty instead of crime; More of giving and sharing time after time. I wish justice would be restored, And peace reign in our souls. I wish famine be banished from the Earth, And each day give hope for a new rebirth. I wish may our generosity and love end their plight, For those living with hunger, with no food in sight, I wish crops would grow strong with the gentle rain, And children of the dust would wander, whole again, I wish for a flicker of light to be always there to behold, Giving warmth and strength to escape from the cold. I wish those wracked with pain in their life, May soon experience relief from their strife. I wish somehow, somewhere they’ll find a place; In the fading light, a smiling soul to embrace. I wish we would perpetually pray for blessed rain, To fall upon us, a barren waste of sun-dried plain. I wish life will be bedecked with fire-sprinkling twists of gold, And we will be filled with wonderment, as the days unfold. I wish our warmth would touch other’s heart, And love would filter in, barriers falling apart. I wish that we would stop causing each other pain, Because in God’s eyes, we are all one and the same. I wish all of us would looked forward to each day, As much as these dreams may seem far away.
Lalhmangaih Hauzel MHA (Hospital), 1st Year
U n m a a d ‘ 10
Straight from the soul and a bit from the heart The sorrow of departing, The coming to end of the honeymoon, The dusk of a cherished dream, The pain of now no longer being wanted….. The pain when you depart, not touch the other... Which inside you is ripping you apart! The dawning of yet another Fallacy which you thought was finally over,..... The series of mistakes, You think you were done with, Until this one again…..... Apoornata me poornata ...kuch is tarah.. Ringing loud inside, What is life.... Why things change.... Why the one you like.... doesn’t like you..? And the one who likes you... stops liking you..! Love is not a thing to be begged, Make me no small further dear,.. It must have been your love.... But now, Don’t make it look like a play, That you had dared to play so near!
Bas yahi hun mai....han eak vishal poornta ka chota sa hissa kehte hain ki ye poornta hi mujhse hai…; kahir…han mai toh ik ik buund bhi hun…; jo ki ghul jati hun usme jo koi mere sang aata hai; ...aur... apna bimb khojte khojte; ghum huva sa kuch andhkaar se; meri paardarshita dekh mujhme jhankta hai; kuch paa jata hai….;..! aur wahan woh roshini mujh me jo pad gayi; Ik indra dhanush rang jata hai…; ik apoornata me poorn... Han yahi ik boond hun mai….
Let me cherish the sorrow... For its coming from.. Where, Once you were there……
Dr. Ruchika Arora Master’s in Public Health
U n m a a d ‘ 10
greatest possession: “Her Love”
My greatest possession: “Her Love” “I feel immense proud to have such a great fate as I have a true love from her, which will never fade”. “She lives in great deep of my heart’s depth, Her lovely smell fragrances me with my every breath”. “She inspires me to win, when I loose in battle of meaningless trade, She enlightens my heart and encourages living my life as I want it to led”. “The greatest possession I ever have on me, is her great faith, To face her after losing it… will be same as to face a death”. “She is the one, who preaches me to cross over boldly different streams of life and to walk over willingly with my loved ones in success and strife”. “No one will be able to replace in my heart… her state Because she is an angel from whom my life got create”. “In this way, by above few lines, I had portrayed a sketch of her image, if you recognize this painting , my heart will be in your eye’s cage” “She is the one, whom “I love most, she is my true beloved forever… She is no any other person, but she is my darling “Mom, My Mother”.
“An Invisible Thread” Far away from the maddening crowd when I am with my own… I felt something which I am missing badly… Something which rejuvenates my life and make me complete… Something the distance from which seems so far and hard to meet… Something which is not there but still present… Something which is the most beautiful color of my life got paint… Presence of which in my life makes it special… love for which adds to it the shades of purple… Somewhere somehow every face reminds me of you and your memories… don’t know what to name it…don’t know what to say… strange is this feeling, strange is its way… thread which is not visible but very strong… binds me to you… and holds us since all the way so long… this distance between us is just for few more time… as “I Am Always Yours and You Mine”.
Dr. Atul Jaiswal M.A. in Disability Studies and Action U n m a a d ‘ 10
Sleep Ma Sleep Abhimanyu, learning war tactics in his mother Subhadra’s womb, had pleaded her not to go to sleep. But the Abhimanyu here tells his mother …
To his father’s voice, pleading but firm, Abhimanyu, the unborn foetus listened, As he laid curled up and glistened In his mother’s womb with waters warm. Through the placenta, he heard him say, “Darling wife of mine, Write it down that I may Go to the house of the whores: How can it not be for long months nine! Give your agreement fast! When it comes to lust There’s nothing called mores!” As these words of his father Seeped into the bloodstream of his mother, Abhimanyu’s world rocked With his mother’s mighty sobs. Was she hurt, humiliated or shocked? Does he call him a father, that who robs His mother’s cheers, Leaving her in tears? His mother did not feel sleepy anymore. Sedated though she was with sleeping pills galore. Abhimanyu’s calling out, “Listen Mother dear!” Somehow made his sinking mother hear: “Sweet Mother of mine, Don’t you ever pine. Sleep, to you I implore. Take it not to your core. It’s through you I link: So I beg you not to think Of that brute’s bullying words. Let me be born to slash his swords”.
Anita Baruwa, Lecturer (Economics) Tinsukia College, Assam U n m a a d ‘ 10
Sameeksha Song Sameeksha on my head!! These days I love to run My feet are having fun I love to go to bed. . . Zombies woke out of sleep, People are no more dead, Everything done and said. . . Sameeksha on my head!! (4) Move your eyes around, There is a lot to be found, Get hold before it fades. . . Sameeksha on my head!! (4) Jargons are not that bad, No reasons to be sad, Choices just have to be made. . . Sameeksha on my head!! (4) The air has voices galore, Everyone has a floor, Joining us under the shade. . . Sameeksha on my head!! (4)
Krupa and Shubham
Indian Summer I came to this city with lots of lists Saw many things I could Many more I missed Like boundless sea And countless men…… Some showered with joy Some sever with pain, Later when ‘INDIAN SUMMER’ started Sizzling hot! Though, there was no rain Yet, it made me feel young again, It made me feel ....Once again Boono U n m a a d ‘ 10
The moonlit parade The moonlit parade The queen of darkness, smiling over the lonely land... The mist sitting cosily in her lap Covering the Serene green top... Figures hanging from the branches Like calipers who have outlived their time... The picture perfect posture of every element Could only have been a painters imagination.... As the cold beams of moon touch the scene It reveals the secrets behind the delusion... Of women hanging upside down No trace of cloth on their naked bodies.... Only an expression, or the lack of it, On their ghastly faces, reminding you about death... Their sensuality covered with an aura of nudity That seldom excites, but always reveals The truth about something That is beyond our senses to intercept. Only pathos, grief and pain, Unbound and unexplained..... Now the fruits on the trees unfurl Taking shape of newborn babies Blue and hollow, their eyes on you.. But they donâ€™t ask any questions but march on.. The dead women and children The trees crawling along with them.... And even if one shuns away all his senses He can feel without ever sensing The march of the moonlit parade!
Abhishek Development Studies, 2nd Year
U n m a a d â€˜ 10
Carnivalesque Carnivalesque Vapour speech mind trapped Embers unmoved lay waiting, quiet anticipation Many shaded shadows occasionally illuminate Passive finger resistance Ambient argument candle-flame stand Smog stained glass or crystal studded utterance Moonbeam call for deliverance Fragmented revision, chronology revisited Rainbow words, stillframed abandon Whistletune nostalgia, familiar exasperation Temporary diametric diversion Sedimentary stillness, fluid opaque echoes Binocular cry, mute sigh Song-salvation bongo army Beat now rap there Shiny-threaded web let me fall Somethingness and nothingness Double sided adhesive Bubble-wrap mind mute pleas Trickle breeze bliss hollow lingers Pride, belong, space, footprints Read thought backwards, exchange alternate syllables Unquiet spiral mahogany spinning wheel, epicentre crimson and careless Timeless silver foil moments folded fifteen times Half moon smile long gaze acquiescence Reverie and reality conspire, converge Familiar clueless hues, whirring grainy comprehension Perhaps a return to the monochromatic?
Archana N.K. MSW 1st Year
U n m a a d â€˜ 10
A commune with Divinity...a diaglogue with the Almighty
One evening , watching the rose-dyed pinkish sky, slowly being swallowed by the night in the offing, in me there arose a sudden urge for questioning, “God , why do all things have to die?”……. “Why is it that the mighty citadel, standing tall and proud, seemingly impregnable, someday has to bite the dust and crumble, with nature and mortals assisting the vandal?”... “Why does the exotic flower in full bloom, after some days shrink and wither away, just like youth in its vibrancy so gay, gives way to aging-when greyness starts to loom?”.... “Why do our footprints on the sands in the shore, get washed away by the frothy waves, which come and go, as the sea raves, leaving no trace whatsoever of things from yore?”... “Why oh,why..does everything mundane, one day or the other meet its end, like we mortals-touted to be ‘God-send’, meet death someday-peacefully or with pain?”….. God at once replied-“It’s a rule of life, my dear, a virtuous cycle infusing great novelty, ‘coz the earth’s veins crave for vitality, every minute, of a day, in a year.” “So that the new gush of blood in the earth does renew, the hopes of a much better world to live in, with that tweaking in the ephemeral life’s din, for the old order always changeth to yield place to the new”……..
U n m a a d ‘ 10
Black Boots I try to bury myself in a deep slumber, Ignorant of my being, Of the reality that surrounds me, Of war cries in the battlefield. I fail to escape your jingoism, When I am awakened every night By the thumping of your black boots, Piercing my ears from east to west. No matter how far I run I always find myself where I beganUnderneath your black boots, Under the shadow of death and misery. I despise your bootsBoots you have trampled me with, Compelled me to fight My own brethren. What does one lose And what do one gain in your rhetoric of war? Do I have to fight an ‘enemy’ To assert my bravery?
The mango tree The Mango Tree Far way in the galaxy Another day, Another night Down below a mad poet Tattered in clothes, Confused in thoughts, Scratching away an inkless pen, Sits under the Mango Tree. School boys in uniforms Run around the ice candy man. A lonesome boy without a penny Sits under the Mango Tree. The poet whines away In want of a pen, In want of a paper, His memory fades away In the horizon Where it originated; Is absorbed by the sky And gulped down by the sea. Joytimay Das MCS 2nd Year U n m a a d ‘ 10
I was born in the Jungle I was born in the jungle I know it like you would know the lanes in your city I have seen it come alive when the heavens above shower it, I have seen it morose when the sun god blazes on I have seen it blossom beautifully in the winters I know the biggest and the tiniest creature in this nature’s machine I know their role as you would know the nuts and bolts and levers of an engine I am as much a part of the jungle as the jungle a part of me It defines me, it sustains me, it gives me an identi ty The generous river, the tiny rivulet, the soothing lake-they are the lifeline- of the jungle & hence me The jungle is my temple, the plants and the creatures are my deities You would offer sacrifices and fast for your gods – so that they protect you I on the other hand protect my god from indiscriminate use – so that they in turn help me flourish Are you a Farmer?- would you raze down all your crop? Are you an Industrialist? Would you demolish your factory? Are you an Owner? Would you destroy your private property? Then what made you think that I would destruct the one thing which keeps me going? What made you think that I would be nature’s offender? I, who of all the things, uphold the power and sanctity of the nature, condemned to be a slayer of the same? Look around you..What do you see? A wooden desk, is it? Where do you think it came from? Clean white paper to write down your University knowledge An ethnically designed living room with handcrafted pillow covers And what is it that you have in the corner..the Big Striped Cat ..stuffed...to speak of your escapades? Big SUVs to commute and ever vertically bound huge buildings with metal frames to stay in The oh-so enticing street- full with shops, selling myriad things, calling upon you to buy them... Exotic jewellery ...art with half nude men and women...intellectual magazines which speak for me and my likes... Books which glorify the nature..Tours in nature’s bounty...wildlife photography which leaves you wonder struck.. Look. Observe. Think. What fuels this lifestyle? Where do things come from? Certainly not out of thin air? (you wish) It comes from the ever bountiful jungle...from my home to your home... However the jungle doesn’t mind...but then you want more...and more....ceaselessly You take as much as you want ...ignorant (or is it feigned?) of the consequences... Why is it then that I am being labelled as the one ‘responsible’ for degeneration of the jungle? Alas the balance is disturbed...the sand gives way beneath the feet... You wake up. You decide. Protect. Conserve. Preserve. I couldn’t agree with you more The jungle and its beings need to be saved. Question is, from whom? U n m a a d ‘ 10
I won’t blame you...i would blame the ideas which are destructive... Ideas which are more powerful than (wo) men themselves...which compel you to think only in one particular way... Even you are but a peg in the larger structure... but you have the capacity to change...to look around, learn and respect even from the tiniest being.. You can change things if you want...one small step at a time would also do... But then you blame me. I am the one from whom the jungle needs to be shielded – the place I call my home and creatures with whom I co-existed even before you could say ‘conservation’ Zones must be created which are inviolate...no humans Human includes you and me as well...yes I am a human...just like you... The similarity ends with the homogenising term. I am vastly different from you. My lifestyle is not destructive...though you have made it out to be so It’s not a question of me versus the jungle. It never was... though you have made it out to be so I was never apart from the jungle....though you have distanced me from it... For you it is something ‘out there’ that needs to be protected... For me it is my very existence that is at stake... You then talk in a language that I don’t understand... You speak of ‘rehabilitate’ and ‘relocate’... You then justify it by saying ‘scientific’, ‘sacrifice’ for the ‘good of the nation’... What science I enquire, as told by whom? You simply answer science, modern science What happened to my traditional science? You reply backward Why am I the scapegoat I question? You answer somebody Whose nation I ask? You say ours Ours. That includes me as well, doesn’t it? Then how come I was never consulted? Why am I being alienated from my Universe? Why am I being deprived of my only means of survival? Why am I being sucked into your cities and made to live on streets and pavements? Why am I being denied to decide my own course? I am being pushed to the brink. My back is to the wall I prefer to die fighting than die in apathy I am doomed either ways. The term is flawed though...our humanness is vastly different... For me the world around me is my university and my memory, my culture and my lifestyle is my book of reference.
Devaki Purohit MSW 2nd Year U n m a a d ‘ 10
Literary Society of TISS is proud to announce the results of the
“ONE LINE STORY” competition.
Here are the TOP THREE ENTRIES
congratulations congratulations congratulations congratulations
You said `one line’ and I drew a line, now read between the lines. Ms. Jenisha Borah
A pair of shoes who could not walk to her, and she walked off. Mohd Iliyas
He was about to pull the trigger when the lights went off. Taha MSW-IInd Year
All the entries we got were all unique and great in their own way, but we just want to highlight some really good ones... Moving against gravity she could feel the weightlessness, no boundaries, she will meet him soon. - Huma Ansari, MSW 2nd year. A fatal cry....The digital clock showed 1am...I can’t call her...I should not...I have killed myself...Ah!!Liberty!! - Arindam, CMCS,1st year. I got swindled by a door-to-door salesman yesterday, a lie-monger who sold me no lies. - Sita Mamidipudi, MSW 2nd year
A BIG Thank You to all those who took part in this event and we acknowledge all of your sincerity and efforts. The TOP THREE ENTRIES will be given certiﬁcate of appreciation during U nQuintessence. m a a d ‘ 10Lots more 5 2 to come!! GET READY!! - Literary Society, TISS, Mumbai. 25th August 2009
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S.M.Fahimuddin Pasha GL 2nd
वर्क़ ए ज़िन्दगी- Pages of life क़दीम क़िस्सेय- Past stories तल्क़ तजुर्बे- Bitter experience तसव्वुर- Imagination अक्स- Image
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